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

  • Michel Barnier has stated that “a lot more substantial work” is required to preserve the Irish border co-operation after Brexit. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney noted that Ireland is in “a uniquely vulnerable position” due to Brexit and faces potentially “extraordinarily negative” impacts. He said that Ireland was in weekly “if not daily” contact with the European Commission about Irish Brexit issues. The UK and EU have agreed a joint “scoping exercise” which will take months to complete and will look at how Brexit could impact on the cross-border institutions and relationships. (BBC)
  • Labour is reportedly preparing an attempt to vote down the Government’s EU withdrawal bill over concerns that it hands too much power to the executive. The shadow cabinet will formally decide on Tuesday but it is expected that Labour MPs will vote against the bill at its second reading in the Commons. There have not yet been any concessions on the bill and the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National party are also expected to attempt to block the bill. The bill will be debated from Thursday with voting expected on Monday. (Guardian)
  • A poll from YouGov has found that 38% of people in France want the UK to leave the EU, 32% want the UK to stay and the rest were undecided. Of those who wanted the UK to leave 46% said it should go immediately and 50% said the UK should leave after the Brexit negotiations have taken place. In the UK 47% of people were committed to Brexit, 43% wanted to remain and 10% were undecided. More people in Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark wanted the UK to remain part of the EU than those who wanted it to leave. (Independent)
  • Britain’s construction industry is “flirting with another recession” according to Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics consultancy. The Markit/Cips purchasing managers’ index showed that growth in the construction sector fell unexpectedly to a one-year low in August and the economic uncertainty has put projects on hold. Samuel Tombs commented that “if, as we expect, Brexit negotiations continue to progress slowly, more firms will activate Brexit contingency plans, freeing up office space and sapping demand for new commercial projects”. (Guardian)
  • Martin Selmayr, the chief of staff to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that it is legally possible for the UK to reverse its decision to leave but that “it would be arrogant of us” to say that the EU could force it to happen. He stated that “Brexit is bad, and it’s a stupid decision. The only people who can reverse it would be the British people and I am not a dreamer, I am a realist. Brexit will happen on March 29, 2019”. (Telegraph)