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

  • The UK pound rallied above the $1.41 mark on Wednesday, extending its best weekly rally since September and striking a new post-Brexit high. Sterling gained as much as 0.85% to $1.4118, before pulling back slightly. The performance came amid a broad decline for the US dollar, sparked by comments from UK Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said a weak dollar is “good” for America. (The Financial Times)
  • David Davis, Brexit secretary, has told MPs he has changed his mind after previously advocating Britain should stay in the EU customs union in the long term. Mr Davis said in 2012 that the customs union was vital for trade, especially for companies with complex supply chains. “New facts, new opinions,” Mr Davis told the Commons Brexit committee. He said visiting the smooth border operation between the US and Canada near Detroit had helped to change his mind. Mr Davis also confirmed the government had no “specific plans to publish a financial services paper” on Brexit. (The Financial Times)
  • Liam Fox has said it would be unthinkable not to spend some of the “Brexit dividend” from leaving the EU on funding the NHS, but the government could not make any promises at this point. The pro-Brexit trade secretary waded into the debate after Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, infuriated colleagues by having his allies brief that he wanted £100m a week from EU spending to be set aside for funding healthcare. (The Guardian)
  • Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday faced ominous signs of a Eurosceptic rebellion against her plans for a standstill Brexit transition deal, as senior Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed that Britain would be left as a “vassal state”. Mr Rees-Mogg said that during the government’s proposed transition of “around two years” with the EU, the UK would be subject to new rules by the bloc and European Court of Justice judgments, but would have no say on either. (The Financial Times)
  • Brexit has stalled plans for an exchange tie-up between Hong-Kong and London as the European regulator has dragged its feet on approving the deal, says the head of the Hong Kong stock exchange. Charles Li, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, said he “cannot even have a conversation” with his fellow regulators about London-Hong Kong Connect “because of Britain’s exit from Europe”. (The Financial Times)