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

  • Net migration is estimated to have fallen by nearly a third to 230,000 in the year to June, new figures show. It is the first time that a full year of data has been available since the UK voted to leave the EU last June. The figure is still short of the Conservatives’ target to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands”. (BBC)
  • UK and EU negotiators are increasingly optimistic that sufficient agreement on the future of the Irish border can be reached in the coming days to progress Brexit talks to the next stage. Sources indicate the ground has now been laid for political agreement on the question of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland after Brexit, which would allow both sides to start discussing the UK’s future trading relationship with the bloc. (Guardian)
  • Talks over the transfer of EU powers to Scotland have broken up without a deal – although both sides said progress had been made. The dispute centres on 111 topics in devolved areas that are currently controlled by the EU. Ministers from the Scottish and UK governments met in Edinburgh in the latest attempt to break the stalemate. (BBC)
  • The governor of the Bank of England has raised the prospect that, after Brexit, the EU rule which puts a cap on bankers’ bonuses could be scrapped. Mark Carney, a long-standing critic of the bonus rules, listed the cap as among the tweaks that could be made to financial regulations when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. The bonus cap was introduced in January 2014 and was a reaction to the financial crisis when bankers received multi-million payouts despite huge losses. The cap limits payouts to 100% of salary or 200% with explicit approval from shareholders. (Guardian)
  • Britain’s EU divorce bill is relatively insignificant to the economy or even to the Government’s finances compared with the much larger question of the UK’s growth prospects after Brexit, according to the head of the Government’s fiscal watchdog. Robert Chote, boss of the Office for Budget Responsibility, warned MPs that it was easy to become fixated on the exact settlement agreed with Brussels, rather than the bigger picture. The bill is expected to be between €45bn (£39bn) and €55bn, with a debate over whether it is extra money or a continuation of payments that Britain was planning to make in any case. But the financial watchdog said that, in the grand scheme of things, this payment is far from the most important aspect of Brexit. (Telegraph)