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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

EU's Brexit talks strategy - Hire Raging Ronnie

It happens from time that time that contractors lose big money on a construction job. Either they won the work with a loss-leading bid, hoping in vain to make it up on variations and instructions, or they mis-valued risk, or they simply badly mismanaged the process. Often, they simply don't figure the P&L on a job until site work has finished, get a shock and submit a claim for an outrageous sum to get them out of trouble. Usually a firm and very chilly meeting with full forces assembled was enough to see off trouble, but when senior jobs were at risk they would hire Raging Ronnie. 

Raging Ronnie was himself chartered in three professions, with an array of post-nominals that exceeded his own name in length. One of his professions was as an Adjudicator, but he was rarely appointed in that role. Mostly he worked as muscle for contractors. The first Raging Ronnie letter would come in, with copies to the Chairman and Secretary, expressing outrage and shock that we had refused his client's eminently reasonable claim, and demanding that we paid up straight away. The second would come a week later, expressing outrage and shock that we had not yet agreed to his demands, and threatening immediate Arbitration. The third would go just to the Chairman, as between equals, a reasonable and calm appeal over the heads of we stubborn underlings to intervene and pay, and the fourth would be the formal notice to seek Adjudication if the claim was not met. 

Our strategy was always the same. Ignore all demands and keep twitchy board members calm, stiffen their backbones and prepare for a hearing. 

Of course all Raging Ronnie's bluster, hubris, outrage, anger and threats would vanish in the case made. Adjudicators don't like intemperate parties. Then it was just a calm and patient slog to demolish their claims. We'd always have to pay something, of course; the Adjudicator will make an award to a contractor just for spelling their own name correctly, but usually it was peanuts.   

And so it is with this oh-so-carefully 'leaked' EU negotiating strategy document that threatens taking the UK to the Hague if we don't meet their demands. I'm beginning to think that Raging Ronnie has found a new client ..


Poisonedchalice said...

Yep. It's all piss and wind. The EU's 2nd biggest funding partner is about to announce that the partnership is to be cancelled. The EU hasn't yet (and never will) worked out where the money is to come from and the German people don't want to pony up the additional £55Bn to keep the club solvent. Even is we did stump up, that would only keep the club afloat for one more year. The writing is on the wall.

Wildgoose said...

The other point that gets missed is that whilst we do have a (small) liability to clear our accounts, we also have a probably more substantial claim to part share of EU assets starting with their two Parliamentary Buildings and working down from there.

It goes both ways.

Poisonedchalice said...

Good point Wildgoose.

And while we are at it, we'll have back our £40Bn that we put into the ECB. We are legally entitled to recover this sum.

Dave_G said...

We need to send in the people that negotiated payment for the Edinburgh Tram system.

Anonymous said...

The EU is after all a threat-based organization. It seeks compliance in all matters and if it doesn't get it, well you know what happens next. The European project's demands are full spectrum adherence to matters political, judicial, social and economic. Joining the EU is not about membership, it's submission and the Arabs have a word for it.


Anonymous said...


Germany is already in trouble. They have self inflicted a fatal wound, as they have to keep 2 million Muslim illegal migrants in luxury. Muslims are unlikely to work for Infidel luxury. Then there is defence. The USA is getting increasingly cheesed off with Germany parasites on American taxpayers. Then there is Brexit - threats of duty on Mercs, BMWs, VWs etc, from Britain and the USA.

This is the kind of triple whammy that can break the German economy. And we know what happens then - specially when Germany is putting on airs of being the leader of the West.