‘You’ve got to be in it to win it...’

Following EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker remarking ‘it takes two to tango’ with officials calling on Britain to set out a more detailed negotiating agenda, FleishmanHillard takes a look at other well-worn phrases that sum up the developments we have seen this week:

  • ‘Put up or Shut Up’ – there is considerable frustration among member states and EU officials that progress has been slow from the UK side, with no ‘text’ for officials to look into the legal aspects of the UK’s proposed reform agenda. The Prime Minister has now promised to issue details in November ahead of the December summit that was agreed in June.
  • ‘A Win-Win Scenario’ –  the usual process in European negotiations (where most countries are used to governing though consensus) is to set the bar high, and accept publically that demands are whittled down to a compromise. This doesn’t sit well domestically with Cameron who is under pressure to show he has ‘brought home the bacon’ and in doing so has the ability to lead in Europe. The UK benefiting from a reformed EU is one thing. The UK benefiting at the expense of other EU nations from the process is another matter entirely.
  • ‘Mine’s bigger than yours’ – with the rival referendum campaigns launching over the last week, despite the ongoing negotiations, politicians are inevitably being called on to stand up to be counted. Many though still have to choose a side, with around 200 Tory MPs thought to be undecided. The pressure on the Prime Minister to set out his stall has now increased, and will only grow.

Will Thavenot, Account Manager, Public Affairs