1

Brexit negotiations are important, as there is much to lose on both sides. But I am wondering:

How many hours were spent since the referendum on negotiation talks?

Is it possible to estimate? I could not find any news articles mentioning it, and it is also not on Wikipedia, and I also couldn't find, for example, a report listing all the meetings of Michel Barnier with durations.

5
  • 3
    I find it unlikely to ever get a number, considering the difficulty of defining negotiations. These days, would it count if Johnson phones Merkel or wouldn't it (because the EU27 said they wouldn't talk about Brexit bilaterally)?
    – o.m.
    Dec 15, 2020 at 11:40
  • One could find a upper limit with an inclusive definition and a lower limit with a more stringent definition.
    – j13r
    Dec 15, 2020 at 13:49
  • How do you define negotiation talks? Does it only count the official meetings? Or are you also including unofficial meetings and converstations?
    – Joe W
    Dec 15, 2020 at 14:42
  • 1
    @JoeW: Any number - if it comes with its definition - will be interesting.
    – j13r
    Dec 15, 2020 at 14:49
  • That is a very broad question and can attract many conflicting answers.
    – Joe W
    Dec 15, 2020 at 14:51

1 Answer 1

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I found all the negotiation meeting agendas by the UK and EU (1, 2). From there, the meeting dates are listed in the table below.

These are 115 days.

Most meetings are weeks with a half-day (2.5h) each in the beginning and end, and 2-3 days of full-day (7h) meetings in between (example), often with 4-9 parallel sessions. Taking a very rough average here of ((6 parallel sessions) * (7h) * (2 days) + (2.5h * 2 days)) / (4 days) gives 22.25 hours of talks per day. I chose 2 days here, because there are also some single day meetings and telecons, some half-day, some full-day, so it accounts for these more or less. The number is high because of the parallel talks.

Multiplying the two together, gives a total of 2559 hours.

Missing are inofficial meetings, talks on summits, phone calls, etc.. Naturally there are caveats in the above calculation.

Table of meetings:

Year Month Day
2017 6 19
7 17
18
19
20
8 28
29
30
31
9 25
26
27
28
10 9
10
11
12
11 9
10
2018 1 16
17
29
2 6
7
8
9
19
20
26
27
3 5
6
7
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
4 16
17
18
5 22
23
24
6 5
6
7
8
19
20
7 16
17
18
19
24
25
26
8 16
17
21
22
29
30
31
9 5
6
2019 2 7
3 11
4 10
2020 3 2
3
4
5
30
4 15
20
21
22
23
24
5 11
12
13
14
15
6 2
3
4
5
12
29
30
7 1
2
3
20
21
22
23
8 18
19
20
21
9 8
9
10
28
29
30
10 1
2
9
19

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