Please see below for today’s update on key Brexit news items.
- Brexit secretary David Davis has confirmed that the government has not conducted sector-by-sector assessments on the impact of leaving the EU, telling a parliamentary committee that such studies would “not necessarily be informative.” Quizzed by panel chairman Hilary Benn at a hearing of the Exiting of the European Union committee, Mr Davis said the government has examined the ramifications for UK industries of Brexit but that publishing sector impact assessments would undermine the UK’s negotiating position (The Financial Times).
- Theresa May’s Brexit strategy was already in crisis as she struggled to reconcile the rival demands of the Dublin government and the Democratic Unionist party over the Irish border. Nonetheless, the situation has now worsened as, in an attempt to appeal to the DUP, David Davis told MPs that “any regulatory alignment we get as part of a Brexit deal for Northern Ireland will apply to the whole country.” With that statement, Mr Davis has had Conservative hardliners up in arms at the thought that the UK is heading for a soft Brexit (The Financial Times). Furthermore, Leo Varadkar said that Ireland stood by the draft deal text that was agreed on Monday concerning the future of the north-south border, and that the ball was now in Mrs May’s court to bring the Democratic Unionist party on board (The Financial Times).
- The UK government will change the Brexit bill to address concerns over its impact on devolution, the Scottish secretary has confirmed. He said the move was in response to suggestions from his Tory colleagues, rather than SNP or Labour (The BBC).
- The UK government has published a new strategy paper intended to support the country’s £8.1 trillion asset management industry, including plans to reconsider the tax treatment of people working for short periods of time in the UK. Britain’s asset management sector has grown substantially since the financial crisis, and now employs 38,000 people directly and provides jobs for a further 56,000 indirectly, according to the government (The Financial Times).