• EU adopts guidelines for negotiations on future relations – EU leaders have approved guidelines for the negotiation of future relations with the UK after Brexit. The formal adoption of the guidelines, although widely expected, is seen as another key step as the Brexit process gathers momentum. The guidelines give chief negotiator Michel Barnier the mandate to talk directly to the UK about the future relationship with a view to reaching a broad political agreement by October to allow the EU and UK parliaments time to consider it. One of the key points in the guidelines is the EU’s offer of a close future relationship based on a free trade agreement with no tariffs on goods and a close partnership on security and defence. The remaining 27 leaders have also endorsed an agreement reached earlier this week on a 21-month transition period between March 2019, when the UK officially leaves, and the end of 2020. (BBC / The Telegraph / Financial Times)
  • Owen Smith calls for referendum on final Brexit deal – Owen Smith, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, has broken ranks with the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to reopen the question of whether Brexit is “the right choice for the country”, and urged Labour to offer the public a referendum on the final deal. In an article for the Guardian, Smith says his party can only “serve democracy”, by recommending a poll on the Brexit deal. His intervention will reopen the split in Labour ranks, which has seen a series of rebellions in parliament since the referendum, including over customs union membership and the decision to trigger article 50, the formal process for leaving the European Union. (The Guardian)
  • Denmark PM: fishing access ‘high priority’ in Brexit talks – Denmark’s prime minister said he will make access to North Sea waters a “high priority” during the next phase of Brexit talks as Denmark’s fishing industry relies heavily on catches off Scotland. Conversely, the UK has said it wants to deliver full control of waters after Brexit but the UK ministers were forced to concede current arrangements will continue during a two-year transition. This sparked fury among fishing leaders and pro-Brexit politicians, with some Scottish Conservative MPs saying they will not back the final Brexit deal if it does not deliver for fishing communities. (BBC)