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

  • Theresa May has asked EU countries to agree to a two-year Brexit transition during which the UK would continue to enjoy unfettered access to the single market.
  • The prime minister said her government would accept EU rules during that period including allowing EU citizens to live and work in Britain, accepting European laws and meeting financial obligations. However, she insisted that such an agreement would be “strictly time-limited”. (The Guardian) (BBC News)
  • Michel Barnier has said Theresa May‘s speech in Florence shows a “constructive spirit” to progress move on Brexit negotiations quickly. The European Union’s chief negotiator said the Prime Minister’s call for a two-year transition period and commitment to maintain some payments to Brussels showed a “willingness” to move forward. But he also made clear that any future relationship would have to be based on a balance of “rights and obligations” and would have to maintain the EU’s legal order – a reference to Ms May’s ongoing determination to end the European Court’s remit in the UK. (The Independent)
  • Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Taoiseach has given Theresa May’s Florence speech a cautious welcome, but said it was not a game-changer that would clear the way for the opening of the next phase of the Brexit talks. Although the Irish premier said the speech marked a “genuine effort” to break the deadlock in the negotiation, he wants further clarity and understanding as to how the British proposal for a transition period would work. (FT)
  • The UK and EU must agree an “ambitious” new security treaty to combat terrorism and organised crime or the continent will face “increased risks” post-Brexit, the British government has warned. Unveiling its strategy for future co-operation on Monday, the UK firmly ruled out the idea that the UK should copy existing intelligence arrangements between the EU and non-member states such as the US, Australia and Iceland, saying this would result in a “limited patchwork” of protection that would “fall well short” of current capabilities. (FT)