• Best for Britain recruits MPs to back second Brexit referendum: Best for Britain, the pro-remain campaign group which has raised £2.3m and is partly backed by George Soros, has lined up a group of MPs to put down an amendment in parliament this autumn calling for a second referendum on the country’s membership of the EU once the UK Prime Minister Theresa May has obtained a final exit deal. It is understood that about 40 MPs have indicated they are willing to sign up to an appropriately worded amendment, which would be set against whatever legislation May introduces to give the go-ahead for the final deal the government brings back from its Brussels negotiations. (The Guardian)
  • Brexit causes surge in support for united Ireland, poll finds: According to a poll by YouGov commissioned by the BBC, a referendum or “border poll” in Northern Ireland on whether to leave the UK would now be a close-run result, with undecided voters having the casting vote. Over a quarter of people in the six counties say they have changed their mind since the Brexit vote and now support a united Ireland – bringing polling for a referendum to 45 per cent staying in the UK and 42 per cent leaving it, with 13 per cent undecided. (The Independent)
  • Ministers water down changes to ‘meaningful’ Brexit vote: A key amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill supported by the House of Lords, empowering MPs to stop the UK from leaving with no deal, or to make the UK Prime Minister Theresa May return to talks, has been rejected by the government. Under the government’s proposed amendment, whilst the MPs could still vote down any Brexit deal, they wouldn’t be able to direct what the government does next, and ministers would have 28 days to make a statement setting out how to proceed. (BBC News)
  • CBI cuts forecast for UK economic growth as Brexit concerns linger: Britain’s leading employers’ organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has warned the UK economy will shift down a gear this year and risks remaining in the slow lane because of Brexit. Cutting its growth forecasts for the year, owing to heavy snowfall in the opening months of 2018 and lingering fears over Brexit, the CBI said it expected the growth rate for the British economy to slow to 1.4%, from 1.8% last year. The rate of GDP growth is then forecast to fall further still, to 1.3% next year, as the UK leaves the EU. The downgrade comes as business groups become increasingly worried about the lack of progress being made by ministers in talks with Brussels, amid divisions between senior cabinet members. (The Guardian / Reuters)
  • UK Foreign Minister calls for more ‘guts’ in Brexit talks: In a recording obtained by Buzzfeed, the UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly criticised at a private dinner the UK government’s Brexit talks strategy, saying it lacks “guts”, and suggested the US President Donald Trump could do a better job. The Foreign Secretary also took a swipe at Chancellor Philip Hammond, calling the Treasury “the heart of Remain”, in comments to the dinner. He said the Brexit talks were heading for “meltdown” and Leave supporters may not get the deal they expected. (BBC News / CNN)