ALARMING GAPS IN UK’S BREXIT NEGOTIATING ABILITY
The UK government’s Brexit department has designed a “masterclass” to teach civil servants how to negotiate with the EU, it has been revealed – demonstrating the alarming gaps in the UK’s negotiating ability.
Civil servants are also being offered a new course on Economic Cost Benefit Analysis, with the department hastily drafting new training material to deal with the “challenging context in which they operate”.
The government made the admission in response to a Freedom of Information request.
The revelation will add to doubts over the UK government’s capacity to negotiate a beneficial Brexit deal, with former Minister Oliver Letwin admitted last year that the UK government had no trade negotiators.
Commenting, SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said:
“This isn’t exactly reassuring. The Tories are frothing at the mouth to trigger Article 50, while scrambling to fill vacancies in government and hastily drafting new training material.
“A civil service ‘masterclass’ is hardly a match for the EU’s seasoned battalion of experienced trade negotiators – particularly when the Tories are determined to pursue a hard Brexit that would rip us out of the single market.
“We already knew that the Tories struggled with the detail on Brexit, but now we see the alarming gaps in the UK’s negotiating ability – they’ll need to do more than send mandarins on ‘how to’ courses to convince anyone that they can deliver a deal that works.”
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“Internally, the DExEU Academy was launched in December 2016, through which staff will be able to access learning which is specific to the unique and challenging context in which they operate. This is designed to be accessible and relevant, and tailored to their personal development needs. This will include a range of masterclasses, the first of which were run in January:
Masterclass: Economic Cost Benefit Analysis
Masterclass: Negotiating with the EU27
Mental Health First Aid Training
Further classes will be developed but as yet we do not have any further information.”