UN & the UK
Following pressure to halt the programme, Theresa May announced at the UN general assembly that the UK will suspend the training of Burmese military amid concerns about the treatment of the Muslim Rohingya population in Rakhine state.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
In a letter published in The Telegraph, Boris Johnson has repeated the controversial claim that the UK will be able to spend £350m a week more on the NHS post-Brexit. This has prompted a backlash, with Amber Rudd condemning him as ‘backseat driving’. The Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir David Norgrove has also expressed surprise and disappointment at the Foreign Secretary’s claim, to which Boris Johnson reacted stating that Sir Norgrove is engaging in ‘wilful distortion’ of his article. Other MPs, including Michael Gove, have supported Boris Johnson.
Tory MPs have called for Boris Johnson to be sacked after he set out his vision for Brexit just days before Theresa May is due to give a speech on the topic in Florence. Meanwhile, the foreign secretary’s contribution has led to an even more frustrated EU.
According to officials, Angela Merkel has been told by the British Government to expect Theresa May’s speech in Florence to contain an offer of €20bn to fill a post-Brexit budget whole, in the UK’s first attempt to settle the divorce bill. This has reportedly led Boris Johnson to back away from his threat to quit the Cabinet. However, The Independent has reported that there will be no European Commission officials attending the speech.
Theresa May gave her speech in Florence, proposing a two-year implementation period. This has been analysed, amongst others, by Laura Kuenssberg.
The Financial Times has denounced as frustrating Theresa May’s silence as to the benefits of Brexit. However, the paper has also considered that Theresa May has acted to tighten her grip on the negotiations in making Olly Robbins answerable only to her and belittling Boris Johnson’s intervention.
The Commons Exiting the EU Select Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry into the progress of the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
For the LSE Brexit Blog, Jane Green and Will Jennings consider whether Brexit will repeat the collapse in public confidence in the Conservative party to manage policy issues seen on Black Wednesday 25 years ago. Meanwhile Risto Penttila has argued that we should look to history to show the way to an amicable Brexit, and not repeat the imposition of harsh conditions as seen at Versailles in 1919.
Vince Cable has claimed that Brexit will be as big a ‘disaster’ as Iraq and the financial crash.
European parliament negotiator Guy Verhofstadt has suggested that Northern Ireland could continue to be in the single market or customs union after the UK leaves the EU, though his proposal for special status for the region has been met with immediate opposition from unionists who said they would never accept any deal that made Northern Ireland different from the rest of the UK.
Keir Starmer has stated that Brussels fears an enfeebled Theresa May will not be able to stand by any pledges she makes in this week’s major speech on Brexit but has dismissed Boris Johnson’s intervention as an irrelevance.
In response to a request by Molly Scott Cato MEP, Steve Baker MP has stated that DEXEU will not publish its analysis of sectors which will be impacted by Brexit as this would harm the UK’s negotiating capital.