Brexit and Aviation 29

The negotiations continue but the water is muddy brown and impenetrable.  EU-UK technical level meetings took place on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  The assurance has been given that there are few remaining issues with the Withdrawal Agreement and the future relationship discussions.  On Friday there’s to be a principals’ meeting with Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, and Dominic Raab, UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU.

Raab is confident a deal between UK and the EU is: “within our sights.”  But the news this week has been up and down like a yo-yo.  One minute there’s optimism and broadly 80% of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is concluded.  Next minute we must remind people that a “no deal” scenario is getting closer and closer.  There’s so much day-to-day game playing that it’s difficult to be either optimistic or pessimistic.

I must congratulate presenter Hannah Fry.  Last night, by chance, I watched her BBC 4 programme called “The Joy of Winning”.  That was an hour well spent.  She successful opens our eyes to game theory.  Not an easy thing to do in a way that keeps people watching.  Adventures in maths don’t normally top the viewing figures.  For this one-hour I’d recommend you give it a go.

Made me think – is anyone applying game theory to the Brexit negotiations?  And if they are what does each side judge to be a win?

Switching to Aerospace.  A win for Europe’s Aerospace sector would be either no Brexit or an outcome that maintains much of what has been won over decades.  Europe’s Aerospace is a success. It employs at least 120,000 people in the UK[1].  The fact is the industry is highly integrated within the EU.  Billions are done in international trade.  And a common rulebook makes that work.

UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raaab maybe an improvement on his predecessor.  In these final months, I hope he has a sound winning strategy that is a win-win for both the UK and EU.

A so called “no deal” Brexit would be an unmitigated tragedy.  It would be evidence of abject failure in negotiations.  It would signal to the world a grave weakness at a time of pressure and venerability.

Is “no deal” part of a game?  Like the MAD that we lived through in the 1980s – that’s the Mutually Assured Destruction of the Cold War.  I don’t suppose we will know until the UK Government papers are released in 30 years’ time.  I prefer to think that it is a form of game theory otherwise I must concede that we are run by ideological extremism in favour of Brexit at any cost.  Not a nice thought to end the week on.

[1] @ADSgroupUK

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