Hi all,

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

  • Will Britain be ready to implement a new customs regime after Brexit takes place in March 2019? This is one of the most troubling questions for business leaders and one that has not been fully answered by the new government customs white paper here . The government is sticking to its position that Britain will leave the single market and the customs union. The UK also wants a new customs arrangement with the EU that, in the words of the white paper, “facilitates the freest and most frictionless trade in goods possible”. (Financial Times)
  • Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs “real and tangible progress” had been made in Brexit talks. But the country must be prepared for “every eventuality”, as the government published papers on future trade and customs arrangements. Labour said “no real progress has been made” since last June’s referendum. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said a “no deal” scenario was starting to appear “more likely” even if it was not something either side in the talks wanted. BBC News
  • Theresa May on Tuesday risked upsetting both sides of the Brexit debate when she refused to say how she would vote in another Brexit referendum and appeared to suggest EU citizens’ future rights in the UK were in doubt. Mrs May, who voted Remain in last year’s referendum, refused three times during a radio phone-in to say how she would vote given another chance. (Financial Times)
  • The Home Office will struggle to cope with the challenges of Brexit without more resources, a former immigration enforcement boss has said. David Wood, who was director general of immigration enforcement at the Home Office until 2015, raised concerns to MPs about the scale of the task facing immigration officials after Britain leaves the EU. (The Independent)
  • The new Dutch government will allow its citizens living in the UK to take up dual citizenship, according to a coalition agreement announced on Tuesday, which pledges to prioritise both its people and EU unity in the Brexit negotiations. After a record 208 days, agreement was struck between four parties on Tuesday to form a centre-right government led by the liberal prime minister, Mark Rutte. (The Guardian)
  • Donald Tusk warned that if the current “slow pace” of negotiations continues the UK and the EU “will have to think about where we are heading”. The UK has been hoping EU leaders will decide next week that enough progress has been made to open trade talks. Brexit Secretary David Davis is in Brussels as negotiations continue. (BBC News)
  • The European Union will have to reconsider its Brexit strategy if Britain fails to improve its offers to Brussels significantly by the end of the year, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday. Effectively ruling out that EU leaders will agree to British demands to open talks on a future free trade pact when Tusk chairs a summit with Prime Minister Theresa May in Brussels next week, he said he still hoped for such a move in December. (Reuters)