• On her way to the EU Summit on Thursday morning, Theresa May published an open letter to the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK claiming that a deal to secure their rights was “within touching distance” and said she was looking for “urgency” from other EU leaders to find a deal on citizen’s rights. In this letter she proposed a simple and low-cost process to allow EU nationals to acquire settled status in the UK which would also remove the requirement for them to demonstrate Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. It is thought that this was a move aimed at putting pressure on other EU leaders to break the stalemate Brexit negotiations (see here for the letter and The Financial Times for more information).
  • Nonetheless, EU leaders (for example Angela Merkel) have said that some progress was made at the EU Summit, which was encouraging, but that it was not sufficient to open trade talks. She did, however, indicate that the opening of trade talks could happen in December (the next EU Summit). It’s expected that tomorrow (Friday 20th October) the 27 EU member states will conclude that insufficient progress has been made on the first topics (citizens’ rights, UK’s financial obligation and the Northern Irish border) and therefore they are prevented from moving onto the second phase of trade discussions (see The BBC for more information).
  • European leaders are “bemused and confused” by Britain’s attitude towards the Brexit negotiations, according to Jeremy Corbyn, who met Michel Barnier and three continental prime ministers on his visit to Brussels. (The Guardian)
  • The Government has delayed its flagship Brexit bill amid concern it could be defeated in a Commons revolt. MPs were due to debate the second stage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill next week but Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said there would be a “pause” in the key legislation when she was outlining upcoming business for the days ahead. (The Independent)