The Iron Triangle

There is a very interesting idea from someone who blogs as the Naked Mole Rat entitled Brexit cannot break the Iron Triangle.

I confess I’d never heard of the Iron Triangle (although it has a Wikipedia entry) but it seems I’m not alone. I confused it for the old sales concept that a company’s offer should rest on the fingers of three requirements: Price, Quality and Service. Fail in any one of these, then you are left simply with a two fingered proposition – which is not generally good for business.

Whereas Price, Quality and service are mostly about ends, The Iron Triangle focuses as much on means and concerns the remit of the project you are undertaking.

Unlike the three fingered selling proposition, where all are required, this is a three sided proposal of which only two prioirities are possible. One will always have to be sacrificed. Clearly they are generally in conflict with each other.

Any project Mole Rat was contracted to set up he would always ask the customer which corner of the triangle they wanted to sacrifice.

The author continues (did you see this coming?):

Theresa May’s deal attempts to resolve [Brexit] by sacrificing quality. She offered Brexit cheap and fast, but only by slashing away at the things the project was intended to deliver.

What he doesn’t mention is that the UK was time constrained from the beginning – at least from the moment they triggered Article 50 – as a result of the incompetence of having no plan at all before triggering it. So they were, from day one, already sacrificing schedule – or as Michel Barnier used to tell us ‘the clock is ticking’….

Perhaps his benign confidence was really the result of having an iron triangle in his inside pocket.

If, on the other hand, the UK were to revoke Article 50, then it would have all the time in the world to sort out Brexit’s eventual Price and Quality.


  1. Gavin -

    Also the size of the professional negotiating team hot from finishing off Canadas deal with circa 56 negotiators of which only two were from the UK. I also notice the UK fallacy that the EU would bend according to how strong the PM was e.g. having won a confidence vote before meeting the EU when having the vote after the meeting would of made the EU concerned about humiliating the soon to be ex PM.
    Excellent insight. Also the EU were well organised in marshalling key weaknesses, strengths in each and every sector and then coordinating a broad ranging deception campaign to hide weaknesses and bolster strengths eg divert attention away from the vast needs of Dutch herring towards French langostines or making a Japanese car import deal to strip the UK of its little cluster of Japanese car manufacturers and leave the nation with only Ford/LandRover as a uk controlled/friendly entity against the German French italian makers. Using CEO Ghosan to undermine Nissan for France put him in a lock up.

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