"While the news are dominated by the main protagonists at the negotiations table, Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker, the main complication lies in the many many many “back tables”. On the British side, it is of course the Brexiteers, different factions in May’s party and in parliament in general, Ireland, Scotland… But also on the EU side, one must always be aware that single countries who are playing with the idea of also leaving the EU watch the current case very closely. There are also elections for the EU parliament coming up in Spring. These elections will of course have huge national implications. Therefore, there are as many back tables as there are complicated technical/legal issues to be solved. It is probably the most difficult political negotiation during our time. Now, more than for any other negotiation two guiding principles should be followed: ´don’t judge too quickly` and ´never stop negotiating`."
Professor Dr. Lutz Kaufmann is Professor of International Business & Supply Management at WHU. He is an expert in negotiations and teaches in WHU's Negotiations Program for managers and executives.