With thanks to Niara, please see below for today’s update on key Brexit news items:

  • The U.K. has shifted its approach to the transition agreement it wants to put in place for after Brexit, falling into line with the European Union’s long-held stance. Businesses have been demanding an urgent deal with the EU that would allow trade to continue as usual for two years after Brexit day in March 2019. (Bloomberg)
  • Foreign aid will be spent in Britain’s “national interest” to boost post-Brexit trade, the International Development Secretary has vowed. Priti Patel said leaving the EU would allow the Government to reclaim billions of pounds of annual aid funding currently diverted via Brussels. It could then be used, not only for “humanitarian” work, but also for “prosperity Britain post-Brexit, on trade and economic development,” she told the Commons International Development Committee. (The Independent)
  • Manfred Weber, the leader of the largest political group in European Parliament, has stated that if Theresa May’s Brexit transition period plan incorporates the same terms as EU Membership, it will have difficulty getting through Parliament. As stated by Weber ‘we cannot accept that a country outside of the EU will have the same status as inside the European Union so there must be a difference’. (The Independent)
  • Stephen Kinnock expressed that Labour should table a no confidence in Theresa May immediately in order to stop the potential of Brexit without a deal with the EU. Mr. Kinnock stated that the Tories are ‘failing to protect and promote the jobs, livelihoods and long-term interests of the British people’. (The Guardian)
  • Iain Duncan Smith has suggested that some key ‘high added value’ EU workers should be exempt from post-Brexit immigration controls. He stated that some highly-skilled migrants, for example financial sector workers, should be exempt from future restrictions whilst tighter controls are placed on other occupations. (The Independent)
  • Jean-Claude Juncker has attacked ‘no dealers’ who he believes are seeking to obtain the failure of Brexit talks. Juncker expressed that the Commission refuses to negotiate matters in environments of hostility because the EU wants a fair deal and therefore, ‘no dealers’ are not perceived as friends of the government. (The Independent)
  • According to Donald Tusk, if the European Union does not maintain its united front, they will be ‘defeated’ in Brexit negotiations. Tusk expressed that his focus was the preservation of unity between the remaining 27 member states and that any conclusion of a Brexit deal was ‘up to the UK’, more specifically London. (BBC News)
  • The UK is likely to end up with a ‘Canadian-styled’ Brexit deal, as warned by Mark Barnier. Barnier has stated that the UK can expect a trade deal that is similar to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. (The Guardian)