- The latest Brexit papers will pave the way for the UK to operate as an “independent trading nation”, Theresa May has said. The documents on post-Brexit trade and customs arrangements were published as the Prime Minister told MPs that “real and tangible progress” had been made in the negotiations since her high-profile Florence speech. (Sky News)
- Six months of Brexit negotiations have passed with little progress. With British Prime Minister Theresa May due to address parliament, both sides have now said that the other is responsible for making the next move. As the EU and Britain started the fifth round of Brexit talks on Monday, both sides quarrelled over who was responsible for making the next move in the stalled negotiations over Britain’s departure from the bloc. Theresa May told the British parliament on Monday that a new agreement “will require leadership and flexibility, not just from us but from our friends, the 27 nations of the EU,” adding that “the ball is in their court.” (Deutsche Welle)
- Britain will prepare to implement a customs, sales tax and excise regime that could operate in the event that no deal is reached with the European Union on its future trading relationships, the government said on Monday. The government document on plans for customs and trade said Britain believed it was prudent to prepare for every possible outcome and had set out its plans in a new piece of legislation. (Reuters)
- A report drawn up by the Republic of Ireland’s customs authority has ruled out an open customs border with the North – effectively pouring cold water on UK plans for the frontier. The unpublished report, drawn up after the Brexit vote and obtained by Irish broadcaster RTE, spells out the huge logistical difficulties Britain leaving the EU will cause for trade on the island of Ireland. (Independent)
- The battle within the cabinet to replace Theresa May as prime minister has left the UK an unreliable negotiating partner in the Brexit talks, unable to convince the EU that it will stick to any agreement it strikes, a former Irish prime minister has said. Speaking to business leaders in Brussels, John Bruton accused the British government of being hopelessly divided, and offering only a vague and impractical vision of what may come once the UK leaves the bloc in 2019. (Guardian)
- Theresa May’s government will publish two white papers on customs and trade arrangements after Brexit, amid warnings from within government to expect two more thorny rounds of negotiations with the EU. A senior government official told the Guardian that ministers remained deeply pessimistic about the hopes of adequate progress in this round of talks or those that will start in November. (Guardian)
- The US has objected to a deal between the UK and EU to divide agricultural import quotas, one of Theresa May’s key plans for a smooth Brexit. British and European negotiators had been working on an agreement to split tariff rate quotas, which would allow some agricultural produce to enter the EU from countries outside of the union. A preliminary deal was drawn up between London and Brussels over how to split the EU’s existing tariff rate quotas – agreed under the World Trade Organisation – but it was rejected by the US, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Thailand in a co-signed letter. (The Independent)
- A top official at the Bank of England has warned the government it has less than 12 weeks to agree a transition deal with the EU to prevent City firms starting to move jobs and business out of the UK. Sam Woods, a deputy governor at the Bank, said City firms would activate their Brexit contingency plans if there was no deal on a transition period by Christmas which would mitigate the impact of a hard Brexit in March 2019. Woods also repeated his warning of the strain being put on the Bank’s ability to police the financial sector as a result of the changes firms needed to make. (The Guardian)
- The two men in charge of Britain’s Brexit negotiations are battling each other for staff and resources, in a further sign of instability within the UK team days before the next round of talks with Brussels is due to begin. Olly Robbins, who left his job as head of the Department for Exiting the EU last month to set up a rival “Europe Unit” in Downing Street, is openly trying to poach his former colleagues from David Davis, the Brexit secretary. In an email to staff at Dexeu and UkRep, Britain’s diplomatic mission in Brussels, Mr Robbins, 42, described the work of the Europe unit and called for “expressions of interest” to join him. (The FT)
Please see below for today’s update on key Brexit news items:
- Britain’s Supreme Court would like clearer guidance from Parliament on how it should deal with European Union court judgments after Brexit, its new president Brenda Hale said on Thursday. The issue of what weight, if any, judgments of the European Court of Justice will have in British law after the UK leaves the EU is one of many thorny areas in Brexit negotiations (Reuters UK).
- The Trump administration has joined a group of countries objecting to a deal between the UK and EU to divide valuable agricultural import quotas, in a sign of how the US and others plan to use Brexit to force the UK to further open its sensitive market for farm products (the Financial Times).
- Amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill drawn up by the Scottish and Welsh governments have been tabled at Westminster. The two devolved governments jointly drafted the amendments in a bid to avert what they term a “power grab” over the responsibilities. UK ministers insist that Holyrood and the Welsh Assembly will gain powers (the BBC).
- A top official at the Bank of England has warned the government it has less than 12 weeks to agree a transition deal with the EU to prevent City firms starting to move jobs and businesses out of the UK (the Guardian).
- Britain’s biggest cities are lobbying the government to replace European investment funding after Brexit as they make their voice heard in the exit process. David Davis, the minister in charge of the UK government negotiations, on Thursday met three northern mayors to listen to their concerns (the Financial Times).
See below for today’s update on key Brexit news items:
- At its conference in Brighton this week, Labour has once again appeared confused over Brexit. On one side stands Mr Corbyn who, in his speech today, stated he wants to take power back from Brussels to help forge a new industrial strategy. On the other side are those Labour supporters, especially younger activists, who want the Brexit decision reversed (the Financial Times).
- Labour’s deputy leader has become the latest senior figure to hint the party may back a further Brexit referendum, saying: “We’re not ruling it out.” Tom Watson insisted Labour’s policy was to secure an “exit from the EU” – to abide by last year’s referendum result – but left the door open for a change of mind (the Independent).
- The European parliament’s Brexit coordinator has warned the home secretary that Britain’s treatment of foreign nationals could “colour” MEPs’ attitudes to whether they approve a future Brexit deal. Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister, has written to Amber Rudd to express MEPs’ concerns about a series of incidents highlighted by the Guardian (the Guardian).
- The Bank of England is anticipating 130 financial firms from across Europe applying for licences to continue operating in the UK after Brexit. The figure was outlined in an interview on Tuesday with Reuters by the Bank’s Deputy Governor, Sam Wood, and underlines the disruption to the financial sector that leaving the EU single market will have on the City of London (the Independent).