Dear all,

Please see below for today’s key Brexit news items:

  • The British government may have breached a major “environmental democracy” law by failing to consult the public when drawing up Brexit legislation. A UN-backed committee has confirmed it is considering a complaint from Friends of the Earth that the government’s EU withdrawal bill breached the Aarhus convention, which requires public consultation on any new environmental law. (The Guardian)
  • David Davis has privately suggested that EU preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit are “damaging” UK interests and spooking British businesses into moving abroad. A leaked letter penned by the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU shows he has consulted government lawyers about European Commission “measures” which he believes could breach UK rights as a member state and put Britain at a disadvantage. The warning comes despite the British government implicitly threatening a ‘no deal’ scenario itself to extract concessions from Brussels, with Theresa May having said that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. (The Independent)
  • Promised changes to the UK government’s EU Withdrawal Bill that would reflect concerns over its impact on devolution will be delayed, it has emerged. Scottish Secretary David Mundell told MPs last month that the amendments would happen during next week’s report stage in the House of Commons. However, UK government sources say that the changes will now happen when the bill reaches the House of Lords. (BBC)
  • The government has come under pressure to reveal the impact on more than 130,000 UK firms of rules due to take effect after Brexit that will force them to pay VAT upfront for the first time on all goods imported from the European Union. Nicky Morgan, the Tory chair of the influential Treasury select committee, has demanded to know what contingency plans were being made to avoid the extra cost of the rule change hitting UK firms. (The Guardian)

Many thanks,