The two sides involved in Brexit negotiations could have very different tactics
Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, is pushing for an “open” negotiating style – similar to the bloc’s conduct in US-EU trade talks, where European Commission mandate and position papers were made public.
While the decision is yet to be discussed with member states, senior Brussels officials believe a transparent standpoint will bolster the EU’s negotiating position.
Those who urge us to reveal more, such as the blow-by-blow details of our negotiating strategy… will not be acting in the national interest
Writing in the Financial Times, Mr Barnier said: “The unity of the 27 will be stronger when based on full transparency and public debate.
“We have nothing to hide.”
Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, a trade diplomacy expert at the European Centre for International Political Economy, added: “The EU has nothing to lose by sharing the texts and letting it unfold in public”.
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The PM believes revealing too many details could weaken Britain's negotiating position
Meanwhile, Theresa May has urged Government officials to keep their cards close to their chests and avoid revealing any major details about Britain’s negotiating position.
She said: “Those who urge us to reveal more, such as the blow-by-blow details of our negotiating strategy… will not be acting in the national interest.”
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With Mrs May set to trigger Article 50 on March 29, the EU is already planning to publicise its draft guidelines for Brexit talks within 48 hours and these documents are expected to provide the framework for negotiations.
In response to the EU’s willingness to disclose information, Brexit Secretary David Davis has told MPs they will receive “at least as much” information as the European Parliament is given.
David Davis has promised MPs they will receive all necessary information
He told the House of Commons Brexit committee: “Whenever it does not undermine or risk our negotiating stance, and therefore the national interest, I will be keen to give you as much information as I can.”
He added: “Quite what that will be at the moment is difficult.
“We have not seen the stream of what we get from the Commission, for example, and our response to that.”