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

  • The European Commission could be preparing to pay the cost of EU citizens’ applications to remain living in the UK after Brexit, according to reports. The Guardian newspaper says Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has discussed using the EU budget to fund the £72 application fee for “settled status” in Britain after the UK leaves. The British Government has insisted on charging EU citizens living in the country if they want to stay, though it says they will be expected to pay “no more than the cost of a passport” for applications. (Independent)
  • Boris Johnson, Britain’s foreign secretary, on Tuesday faced a backlash as the prime minister and chancellor quashed his heavily publicised demand that the British government spend a “Brexit dividend” of £5bn a year on the National Health Service. Conservative MPs accused Mr Johnson of making “a transparent leadership bid” while Amber Rudd, the home secretary, denounced his decision to leak the NHS proposal to the press, saying she was not sure she could trust him any more. (Financial Times)
  • Jeremy Hunt has admitted that EU cancer drugs may not be available to British patients after Brexit, describing the risk as “uniquely damaging”. The flow of some medicines would be cut off if the withdrawal negotiations break down, the Health Secretary acknowledged – echoing fears raised by the pharmaceutical industry. Drug giants have told of “significant disruption to the supply chain for medicines” and that customs delays would damage “time and temperature sensitive” materials, without a Brexit deal. (Independent)
  • Emmanuel Macron, the French president, became the first EU leader to say last week that the bloc might consider “a special way” for the UK in trade talks. Although he said Britain could not “cherry-pick the single market” and that full market access was impossible unless Britain played by all the EU’s rules, he said a compromise might be possible “between this full access and a trade agreement”. (Financial Times)