Please see below for today’s update on key Brexit news items:
- Theresa May says she hopes Parliament can “come together” despite MPs’ differences over Brexit strategy. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, she said the government was “listening carefully” to those who were trying to change its flagship EU bill. It comes after rebel MPs vowed to oppose Downing Street’s bid to enshrine the precise date of Brexit in law (the BBC).
- Manfred Weber, a key ally of German chancellor Angela Merkel and a Brexit hawk, has raised hopes of a breakthrough in talks between the UK and EU next month by declaring he was “more optimistic” after meeting British prime minister Theresa May (the Financial Times).
- The number of people from other European Union countries working in Britain rose by 112,000 in the past year, according to the first full set of official figures published since the EU referendum. However, the figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the number of Polish and other east European nationals working in Britain has dropped for the first time in more than 10 years (the Guardian).
- Germany’s main industry lobby says employees are increasingly reluctant to be posted in Britain because of uncertainty over the UK’s post-Brexit relationship to Europe and the legal arrangements for EU workers. The warning from the BDI came after the British government promised bankers and other professionals a special post-Brexit travel regime to allow them to move freely across Europe (the Financial Times).
- Conservative Brexit rebels have attacked right-wing papers for trying to bully them into silence as the government’s EU withdrawal bill continued its passage through parliament. Anna Soubry blamed the Daily Telegraph front page, depicting her as a “Brexit mutineer”, for a series of threatening tweets her staff have reported to police (the Guardian).