Negotiating and Mediating Brexit

22 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2016 Last revised: 20 Apr 2017

See all articles by Horst Eidenmueller

Horst Eidenmueller

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: October 19, 2016


The United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Brexit will involve many complex negotiations. This paper analyses the negotiation position of the parties (UK, EU, Member States) based on a set of four key negotiation factors: agreement options, non-agreement alternatives, interests, and perceptions (‘Negotiation Analysis’). A special focus here is on the effect of triggering the formal withdrawal process under Article 50 TEU on the non-agreement alternatives of the parties. The article considers the likely negotiation strategy of the UK against this background (‘UK Negotiation Strategy’). It further discusses strategic negotiation moves by the parties already made, and moves likely to be made in the future (‘Negotiation Dynamic’). So far, the parties appear to approach the immensely complex negotiations intuitively as a zero-sum or even negative-sum game, engaging only in value claiming tactics. No neutral process manager is involved so far. Against this background, the article proposes an international, tailor-made mediation process as a means to efficiently steer the withdrawal negotiations and help the parties agree on a value-preserving ‘withdrawal agreement’ (‘Brexit Mediation’).

Keywords: Brexit, Negotiations, Mediation

JEL Classification: C70, C78, D70, D74

Suggested Citation

Eidenmueller, Horst G. M., Negotiating and Mediating Brexit (October 19, 2016). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 29/2017, Available at SSRN: or

Horst G. M. Eidenmueller (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

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