• Brexit at PMQs: Corbyn tells PM to ‘step aside’ and let Labour do deal: Theresa May should “step aside” and let Labour do the Brexit deal if she cannot even get her ministers to agree on their aims, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The “uncertainty” facing the UK because of the lack of cabinet agreement on future trade plans was holding back economic growth, Labour’s leader said. Major employers were considering moving jobs abroad because of the “complete disarray” in negotiations, he said. But the PM said Labour would “sell Britain short” if it was in power. Hailing the record number of jobs being created in the economy, she told MPs that only a Conservative government would deliver a Brexit in the national interest and ensure a Britain that was “fit for the future”. Mr Corbyn said only Labour was committed to negotiating a full customs union with the EU that protected jobs and living standards but Mrs May insisted that this was achievable through a new customs arrangement which also ensured an independent trade policy and settled the Irish border issue. (BBC News)
  • Government admits it is checking if Theresa May’s Brexit customs plan is legal: Lawyers are examining whether Theresa May’s plan for trading with the EU after Brexit is legal under international law, her deputy has admitted. David Lidington, the cabinet office minister, also acknowledged that senior ministers had made “serious criticisms about the technical detail” behind the so-called “customs partnership”. It would be a “week or so” before the inner cabinet was ready to fully examine both the partnership plan and the rival “max fac” model based on smart technology, he said. However, Mr Lidington denied the involvement of lawyers presented a further hurdle, saying: “We test the legal risks involved. This is just a normal routine part of policy “This is what always happens when you talk about a treaty. You check is this compatible with other treaties to which you are party, or the countries you are negotiating with are party. “This is not something that is special here – this is a normal part of everyday government business.” It is believed that David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, has told Theresa May that the customs partnership – under which the UK would collect tariffs for the EU – could be illegal. (The Independent)
  • EU Withdrawal bill suffers 15th defeat in Lords: The government has suffered its 15th defeat in the House of Lords over the EU Withdrawal Bill. Peers voted by a majority of 50 to say the government should set up a body to maintain EU standards of environmental protection after Brexit. Lord Krebs, who instigated the move, argued that while EU rules would be carried over into UK law, environmental principles underpinning them would not. Ministers had promised a consultation on the issue but lost by 294 to 244. MPs will decide whether to reverse the measure when the bill returns to the House of Commons. Peers are debating the third reading of the Bill, the last chance for them to propose changes to the legislation. (BBC News)