• Brexit Secretary David Davis has called on both sides in the negotiations on the UK’s departure from the European Union to “get down to business”. Mr Davis travelled to Brussels ahead of the second round of formal talks. He said his priority was to “lift the uncertainty” for EU citizens living in the UK and Britons living in the EU. The EU says there must be substantial progress on this – and on a financial settlement and the issue of the Irish border – before trade talks can begin. In a brief appearance alongside EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier as their teams began this week’s talks, Mr Davis said there had been a good start to the process and it was time to get to the “substance of the matter”. Mr Barnier said the negotiators would “now delve into the heart of the matter”. Talks will focus on citizens’ rights, finance and “other separation issues”, with separate negotiating teams set up for each. (BBC)
  • However, Mr Davis’ lightning trip was mainly notable for an awkward photo opportunity. After his arrival at the EU’s headquarters on Monday morning, the European Commission released pictures of Mr Davis sitting opposite his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, with their respective teams. While the EU Commission negotiators each sat with a stack of briefing papers in front of them, the UK delegation had none, leading to speculation on Twitter as to whether they had actually brought any. British diplomats said the documents were still in Mr Davis’s bag at the time the photo was taken. (FT)
  • The majority of Brexit supporters would be happy to swap European free movement for single market access, according to two studies which suggest ways for Britain to pull back from the brink in the upcoming negotiations. Amid calls for the government to loosen its opposition to free movement in order to protect the economy when Britain leaves the EU, the research shows compromise would result in far less popular backlash than is assumed. Campaigners opposing hard Brexit claim it also vindicates their new slogan “no Brexit is better than a bad Brexit”. (Guardian)
  • The UK housing market is shrugging off concerns in the wider economy following the Brexit vote, compounding problems for many first-time buyers still wrestling with the strongest year-on-year price rises in the market. There are more buyers and sellers in the wider market compared with the period around the referendum a year ago, with the number of sales agreed up by 4.6% in June 2017 compared with June 2016, the latest survey by property website Rightmove found. Meanwhile, cumulative sales agreed during 2017 are almost on a par with the same period in 2016, down by 0.4%, even though the first six months of last year was boosted by the rush to beat the April 2016 stamp duty deadline, the survey added. (Guardian)