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

  • Angela Merkel warned a business group in Berlin that the EU needs to guard against the UK gaining an economic edge by easing regulation when it leaves. She compared the process to “reverse-negotiating a free-trade agreement” and has re-iterated her warning that the UK will pay a price for not accepting the free movement of people. (Bloomberg)
  • Michel Barnier has proposed to key figures in Brussels that the first day of formal talks between the UK and the EU should be on 19 June. This allows time after the election results for the EU to make any informal preparations before the negotiations officially start. His intention is reportedly to divide the negotiations into four-week cycles each focused on a key issue with week one involving political preparation, week two for disclosure of documents by both sides, week three for Michel Barnier and the Brexit secretary to sit down and talk and then a final fourth week to report the negotiations to the EU member states and the European parliament. Michel Barnier wants to reach an agreement on citizens’ rights, the “divorce bill” and the Irish border in the first phase hopefully concluding at the end of 2017. The European council will then decide if sufficient progress has been made for talks to progress and December 2017 to Spring 2018 will be spent negotiating a future trade deal and any transitional arrangements. (Guardian)
  • According to a survey by Mintel, nearly 50% of British consumers believe that Britain’s decision to leave the EU will have a negative impact on the cost of living in the UK. This percentage has remained unchanged since the question was first posed in July 2016 shortly following the referendum. More than 80% of UK shoppers fear that there will be price rises on goods and services after Brexit. (Independent)