• Sticking to EU rules ‘vastly’ more beneficial than creating UK’s own, says business group: The economy will be much better off if the UK sticks closely to EU rules rather than creating its own after Brexit, a leading business group has said. Eighteen of 23 sectors analysed would benefit from regulations that remain aligned with Brussels, the Confederation of British Industry found. It said the costs of divergence would “vastly outweigh” the benefits in most parts of the economy. The CBI spoke to thousands of business leaders up and down the UK over a six-month period and found that, while there were opportunities to make beneficial new rules in sectors such as agriculture, shipping and tourism, these are limited. In sectors such as aerospace, aviation, chemicals, financial services and technology, the majority of important regulation should remain the same in order to protect the economy and jobs, the CBI concluded. (The Independent)
  • Hammond warns ‘catastrophe’ for Ireland situation if no EU deal: Chancellor Philip Hammond told a German newspaper that it would be a “catastrophe” for the situation in Ireland if Britain and the European Union failed to find a solution during talks on Brexit. Northern Ireland, which will become Britain’s only land frontier with the EU after Brexit in March 2019, remains the most difficult issue in talks between Brussels and London and a threat to peace in the British province. “The worst result for the Good Friday Agreement would be no solution between the EU and Britain, that would be a catastrophe for the situation in Ireland.” (Reuters)
  • Barnier: UK can change mind on single market until end of 2020: The UK has until the end of 2020 to change its mind about leaving Europe’s single market, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator has said. The UK is set to leave the EU in March 2019, at which point the transition phase – which the UK government calls the implementation phase – will begin. This will last until 31 December 2020, when the final arrangements agreed between the two sides will kick in. In an interview with reporters from several European newspapers, Mr Barnier said the UK would not leave the single market and customs union until 31 December, and until this date, “everything is possible”. “If the UK wanted to change its red lines, we would therefore change ours,” he said. Mr Barnier added that he was not expecting this to happen, but that the EU would not be dogmatic. (BBC News)