Please see below for today’s key Brexit news items:

  • The EU’s negotiator Michel Barnier has re-emphasised that significant differences remain between the UK and EU over the length of any post-Brexit transition period. He suggested the UK wanted an “open-ended” arrangement while the EU wanted a “short and time-limited” period that would last no more than 21 months. He said he hoped the publication of a draft withdrawal agreement on Wednesday would help address unresolved issues. (The BBC)
  • Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has twice in one day been caught up in the sensitive issue of the Northern Ireland border after Brexit. In a radio interview on Tuesday, he compared the border issue in Ireland to crossing between London boroughs. And later in the day a leaked letter from the leading Brexiter played down the significance of an issue that seems set to play an important part in the next stage of negotiations. (The Financial Times)
  • Northern Ireland may be considered part of the European Union customs territory post-Brexit, Irish national broadcaster RTE is reporting, as part of the draft legal text to be published by the European Commission on Wednesday. The text will allude to a single regulatory space on the island of Ireland with no internal barriers, adds the broadcaster. The report cites “a well-placed EU source”. (The BBC)
  • The Scottish and Welsh administrations on Tuesday raised the stakes in the constitutional dispute with the UK government over Brexit by unveiling emergency legislation that would try to ensure that powers currently exercised by Brussels are transferred to Edinburgh and Cardiff. The devolved administrations have accused the UK government of wrongly seeking to use Britain’s departure from the EU to engage in a power grab – notably in relating to farming and fishing. (The Financial Times)
  • The EU will demand this week that the UK remains subject to European Court rulings indefinitely under its Brexit divorce deal, forcing Theresa May into another fraught battle over the writ of Luxembourg judges. Brussels will propose that the UK is required to accept the European Court of Justice as the ultimate arbiter to treaty-related disputes, according to three officials who have seen the text. (The Financial Times)