May mulls remaining in EU customs union The FT

  • Theresa May is considering agreeing to keep the UK inside the EU’s tariff wall to secure a Brexit deal, which would restrict the country’s ability to do trade deals on goods but allow it to strike agreements on services.
  • The move could satisfy the opposition Labour party’s demand that Britain stay within the bloc’s common external tariff.
  • The prime minister has been warned by Conservative chief whip Julian Smith that unless she strikes a deal on a customs union with Labour a second referendum would be a likely outcome, prompting ministers to scramble to find a possible compromise.

UK to cancel final 2 no-deal Brexit ferry contracts The FT

  • Chris Grayling will on Thursday confirm the cancellation of the two remaining ferry contracts signed for a no-deal Brexit — bringing their cost to taxpayers so far to more than £80m.
  • But the UK transport secretary will not rule out spending millions more on further ferry deals if the House of Commons continues to reject the government’s Brexit deal.
  • Mr Grayling has been beset by criticism for months over his decision to award £103m in contracts to three companies for ferry services to maintain essential supplies, such as medicines, if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

UK’s cross-party Brexit talks showing ‘greater commonality,’ May says MLex

  • The UK government and the opposition Labour Party have found some common ground in talks to find a way out of a Brexit deadlock, the UK prime minister said today.
  • Theresa May avoided direct answers about whether the government position could change on the question of remaining in the EU’s customs union.