With the latest on Brexit just in and both the Conservative and Labour parties suffering losses in the recent local elections, cross-party talks are now ongoing to see if a commitment can be made to negotiate a customs union with the European Union lasting until 2022, when the next general election is due to fall.

But as the Guardian observes, this is really all just a mirage and that with each day the UK stays part of the EU is “another day gone in which Whitehall could negotiate the future relationship while benefiting from its place in the single market and customs union as part of a 21-month transition period”.

While we’re not sure what’s going to happen where Brexit is concerned, it’s certainly worth looking at the last two years as a learning opportunity and seeing what these complex negotiations can teach us about employment mediation.

The first lesson – and perhaps the most obvious, when you look at what’s gone on with Brexit since the referendum – is to always know what you want to achieve when entering into a negotiation of any kind and that everyone on your team is united in their views.

Something else that’s especially important to prioritise is an idea of what your best alternative to a negotiated agreement would be, a fundamental part of any negotiation process. This will be the best possible result you can achieve in the absence of your settlement or agreement.

It could be argued that this was never talked over by the Conservatives, in part why we’ve ended up in the position that we’re in now.