Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
The Government has published its response to MPs’ concerns about the ‘damaging’ effects of legal aid reforms on human rights, painting a rosier picture than found by members of the joint committee on human rights.
The House of Commons International Development Committee has published a report on the appointment of the new Chief Commissioner for the Independent Commission on Aid Impact.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
According to Emily Thornberry, Labour is set to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal, and the prime minister is at risk of being forced from office before Christmas. Meanwhile Sadiq Khan has increased pressure on Labour by throwing his weight behind a second vote on Britain’s membership of the EU. Keir Starmer reportedly came close to resigning as Shadow Brexit Secretary after clashing with Jeremy Corbyn.
The Financial Times has published a timeline for the upcoming key dates in the UK’s divorce with the EU.
Theresa May has warned Tory MPs to back her Brexit plan or see Britain crash out of the EU without a deal, whilst also, finally, slapping down Boris Johnson after he accused her of strapping a suicide vest to Britain. Meanwhile, in an apparent attempt to stop Eurosceptics rebelling against the Theresa May, Michael Gove has stated that a future British prime minister could unpick any Brexit deal she agreed. However Michel Barnier has warned that this is not the case and that the final Brexit deal will be binding.
In a bid to unlock stalled talks on the ‘backstop’ plan for the Irish border, Brussels is discussing with Dublin plans to put British officials rather than EU inspectors in charge of checking goods heading to Northern Ireland. The Times has reported that this secret EU plan to accept a frictionless Irish border after Brexit is a boost to Theresa May. However, Spain has called for tougher legal guarantees on Gibraltar to be included in the UK’s exit treaty, in a demand which risks further complicating negotiations.
The House of Commons has published a report on the progress of the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal from June to September 2018. Meanwhile the House of Commons Library has published a briefing considering how relations between the UK and the EU are governed at the moment and what will happen after Brexit.
In his speech closing the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton, Vince Cable is set to accuse anti-EU MPs of putting Britain at risk in pursuit of the “erotic spasm” of Brexit.
Senior EU diplomats have predicted that the British Government will have to experience its “darkest hour” and stare into the abyss of a no-deal Brexit before it will cave in to Brussels demands. However, David Davis has suggested that he expects that negotiations between the UK and EU will ‘re-set’ as the deadline for agreeing a deal draws closer, and that there would be ‘other deals on the table’ by November.
At a crunch meeting in Salzburg Theresa May is reportedly going to bypass Michel Barnier and urge her EU counterparts to drop their “unacceptable demands” as she seeks to defuse the ongoing Brexit row over the Northern Ireland border. She is set to reject Barnier’s Irish border proposals as unacceptable.
The Institute for Government has published an insight report on Brexit: six months to go.
Laura Kuenssberg has written an article for the BBC on how the sound of Brexit when it comes to whether EU players will shift their principles or whether the UK will move on its beliefs about Ireland is ‘no, no, no’.
At Salzburg Theresa May stated that ‘there will be no second referendum in the UK’; however this stance was contradicted in London when Mel Stride, a Treasury minister, suggested that a second referendum could be possible if the Chequers deal was voted down by MPs. The EU27 rejected May’s Chequers proposal, increasing the pressure on the UK, but the prime minister’s loyalists insist they are still workable. This led to Theresa May making a combative speech in which she demanded respect from the EU in the negotiations.