Agreement Worse

The “instrumental” school does not attribute the same centrality to the agreement, the negotiation of which is only one of the many stages of a complex transition. It should therefore not bear the burden of the whole process alone. Concern about the imperfections of the agreement in terms of wording, feasibility or legitimacy should be weighed against the overriding need to maintain the momentum of the entire transition. Ambiguities, shortcomings and even flagrant impossibilities are acceptable costs. Over time, ambiguities are removed, gaps are filled, changes are made to account for impossibilities and, most importantly, the relevance of seemingly intractable issues is compromised, as the parties begin to learn to put complacency before confrontation. In this sense, implementation cannot and should not only be expected to reflect the original agreement. Britain`s relations with China, the world`s second-largest economy and most populous country, have deteriorated.

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Jenny Smith