Unilateral Disarmament

Published: Jan 23 , 2015
Author: Robin Copland

Jim Murphy, the new leader of the Labour party in Scotland, was interviewed on the radio recently and the issue of unilateral nuclear disarmament was raised.

By way of background, there has always been a body of opinion in the UK in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament, indeed, during the recent referendum debate in Scotland, the Scottish National Party, in favour of Scottish independence, insisted that, in the event that Scotland voted “Yes” for independence, she would become a “nuclear-free zone” as soon as possible.  The UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines are based in Faslane on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland, so this was a major issue in the months leading up to the September vote. 

Anyhow, back to Jim Murphy’s interview; he was asked if the Labour party would unilaterally disarm and his answer was, “no”.  The interviewer pressed him on his answer.  Murphy responded rather as a negotiator might respond.  He said (and I paraphrase), “Why would I go into a negotiation and make a major concession without getting anything in return?”

In a sense, it matters not what you think about the principle of nuclear disarmament.  The fact is that we have nuclear weaponry and that we have spent/ will potentially continue to spend billions of pounds on it.  The negotiator will think to themselves that if they were minded to concede on the issue, then they would ask for something significant in return.  If the concession is made unilaterally, then it ceases to have a value. 

Often in negotiations we find ourselves in possession of unwanted concessions from the other side; or we have an asset that we no longer want or need.  What should we do?  The temptation is to throw the unwanted concession back in the other side’s face, or make a unilateral concession.  It doesn’t cost us anything and we were going to concede it anyway.  Resist the temptation!  Ask yourself what you could get in return and exploit your power.

Robin Copland

 


SHARE

blogAuthor

About the author:

Robin Copland
No bio is currently avaliable

Latest Blog:

You Often Have More Power Than You Think

As a negotiation specialist, I’m often asked what the best course of action is when the other party has all of the power. Maybe you are dealing with an incumbent or selling to a duopoly… so it may even feel like it is true that they have ‘all of the power’. While we could talk about what you do when it is true, my experience is that people typically have a lot more power than they might realise.

Latest Tweet:

210/410
Elizabeth Street
Surry Hills
2010
Australia
02 9211 3999
info.au@scotwork.com
Follow us
cpd.png
voty2016_sign_gold.png