Please see below for today’s update on key Brexit news items:
- Chancellor Philip Hammond has sought to head off claims by Eurosceptic Conservative MPs that he has failed to adequately prepare for Britain’s departure from the EU by committing an extra £3bn to the UK’s Brexit Planning. The UK chancellor said on Wednesday he would allocate an additional £1.5bn in each of the next two financial years for Brexit preparations – and that he was ready to spend more cash if it were needed (The Financial Times).
- Downing Street still believes the Irish border problem can be resolved by December, despite Dublin’s threat to veto Brexit trade talks over the issue regardless of Theresa May’s £40bn divorce offer. Ireland fired a warning shot on Tuesday by suggesting May’s enhanced financial offer to the EU was not enough on its own to secure the trade talks sought by the UK without guarantees that Brexit will not lead to a hard border (The Guardian).
- Brexit disruption to the channel tunnel will hit EU businesses harder than British ones, Eurotunnel’s chief executive told European lawmakers on Wednesday. Appearing in front of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism, Jacques Gounon said the tunnel is a vital supply line for businesses across Europe shipping products to the UK (The Financial Times).
- British and EU negotiators are moving closer to thrashing out a deal over the so-called ‘Brexit bill’ as optimism rises on both sides of a deal in December that will open the door to trade talks, senior EU and UK sources have both told the Telegraph. While sources on both sides confirmed “we are not there yet”, the contours of a deal over the so-called Brexit bill appear to be emerging, in which the UK would implicitly commit at least €40bn – and potentially more –but without agreeing to a figure in public (The Telegraph).
- Jeremy Corbyn has used prime minister’s questions to challenge Theresa May over what he called the government’s lack of coherent Brexit strategy. The Labour leader used each of his questions in a pre-budget PMQs to focus on Brexit, a subject he has largely avoided in recent months, seemingly because Labour’s position on the subject also remains some way from coherent and unified (The Guardian).