• Brussels has proposed giving the European Court of Justice a big role in settling EU trade disputes with Switzerland in a move that could serve as a blueprint for a Brexit deal, despite many UK politicians’ mistrust of the tribunal. Two EU diplomats told the Financial Times that the commission set out a new approach this month to trade relations with Switzerland. It would set up a three-person arbitration panel to resolve disputes on condition that issues relating to EU law were referred to the ECJ. That would give the EU’s highest court the final say in interpreting large parts of the trade partnership. (The FT)
  • Ministers have agreed a technology tie-up with Emmanuel Macron’s government that will see the UK unite with France in areas such as artificial intelligence and cyber security. Matt Hancock, the Culture Secretary, will this morning announce the two countries plan to work together to pool industry and academic research. Britain and France will host a conference later this year to encourage cross-Channel investment, targeting work on AI in particular. (Telegraph)
  • New lending to Britain by the European Investment Bank fell almost two-thirds last year as uncertainties over Brexit made applicants wary and the bank imposed extra precautions. The Luxembourg-based EIB’s new contracts with the UK totalled £1.89bn last year, down from £5.54bn in 2016. Just one-fifth of last year’s total — £377m — came in the nine months after the British government triggered the Article 50 process to leave the EU. (The FT)