• Welsh and UK governments agree Brexit bill deal – The UK and Welsh governments have reached agreement on changes to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill over a long-running Brexit “power-grab” row, which centres on what would happen post-Brexit to 64 powers in devolved areas such as agriculture support and food labelling. The powers are currently operated by EU officials in Brussels. The agreed amendment is to be tabled by the UK government in Parliament this Wednesday, and means that any changes to powers held in Westminster would need the consent of the devolved legislatures, and that those powers will be held in Westminster for no more than seven years. On the contrary, the Scottish government has rejected the latest offer, signifying a divergence with Wales despite both governments previously being aligned in their stance against the UK Government. (The BBC)
  • EU damps hopes of bespoke financial deal – The European Commission damped hopes that a bespoke financial services agreement might be struck for the UK as part of Brexit, and echoed recent warnings that UK-based firms would need to rely on the same arrangements used by companies in the US, Singapore and other non-EU financial centres. The City of London was warned of “clear limits” to its European market access after Brexit and that trading opportunities would be linked to Britain’s willingness to stick to EU rules. (The Financial Times)
  • Government rules out U-turn on customs union pledge – While the House of Lords voted last week in favour of an amendment in favour of staying in the customs union, the government has rejected the idea of any backsliding and insisted it will not back down on leaving the customs union. This is consistent with Theresa May’s position from the start, and it is argued that any customs union makes it effectively impossible to negotiate free trade deals with other countries – one of the government’s key ambitions and a central justification for leaving the EU. (The Guardian)
  • Peers in favour of EU Charter of Fundamental Rights post-Brexit – The House of Lords voted 316 to 245 in favour of a proposal to keep the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in force after Brexit, to the chagrin of ministers who believe this to be a “constitutional outrage”. The defeat, which is part of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, will now be considered by the House of Commons, where it may be overturned by MPs. The Charter, which is separate to the European Convention on Human Rights, sets out a range of civil, political and social rights for EU citizens. Some campaigners have warned that leaving it will weaken human rights protections. (The BBC)