UK in CJEU
The EU court has ruled that Britain is failing to protect harbour porpoises, in a judgment which could force the creation of more conservation areas.
UK and the UN
According the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, the UK Government is putting the health of millions of its citizens at risk by failing to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Dominic Raab flew to Brussels over the weekend for a hastily arranged meeting with Michel Barnier as talks over the Brexit deal reached a climax ahead of Wednesday’s European Council summit. However, despite Theresa May reportedly attempting to straddle her red lines to conclude a draft agreement, the talks seem to have reached a stand-off as the prime minister has warned that the draft deal is a non-starter and has pulled the plug on the agreement does to fears she would not get it past her Cabinet.
The knife edge on which the Brexit negotiations are balanced is due to Theresa May’s domestic vulnerability over the Irish border which is now threatening to kill off hopes of an October deal. The Financial Times reports that the prime minister is playing for time amid rising expectations that finalising an exit deal will slip into December.
Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s Westminster leader, has stated that his party is not bluffing in its threat to break the confidence and supply deal keeping Theresa May in power over Brexit.
The Brexit transition period could be extended by another year in a bid to break the Irish border deadlock – potentially costing the UK billions of pounds in extra payments. Michel Barnier has indicated that he would be open to extending this 2021 in return for a two-tier backstop to avoid a hard Irish border.
The SRA and the Law Society have warned that about 700 European lawyers at firms in England and Wales will have to undergo an expensive requalification process if there is a no-deal Brexit.
A briefing paper from the Local Government Association has provided a summary for councils of recent Government technical papers to ensure businesses and citizens understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario, covering both the ‘knowns’ and ‘unknowns’ under such a scenario and their implications.
Donald Tusk has warned that a no-deal Brexit is ‘closer than ever’. Meanwhile some of the ‘Letters to the Times’ discuss the Brexit impasse. By contrast, Nicola Sturgeon has called for an extension of the proposed 21-month Brexit transition period to give the UK Government more time to negotiate a compromise with opposition parties, in order to deliver a “common-sense” future relationship with the EU.
Theresa May gave a speech in the Commons to update the House on the Brexit negotiations.
Brussels gave the UK a day to settle its position on Brexit before deciding how to respond to Theresa May’s move to ‘disengage’ from the talks on the agreement. During this break, Theresa May won the backing of the Cabinet for her Brexit negotiating strategy after a two-and-half-hour discussion that centred on concerns about when the UK could leave any customs backstop it signed up to as part of the EU divorce deal. Meanwhile Brussels demanded that the UK provide new solutions for the deadlocked talks.
The European Parliament’s Brexit Co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt MEP, has written to Seema Malhotra MP, a member of the Exiting the European Union Committee, setting out the EU’s understanding on the continuity of UK-EU contracts post-Brexit.
Kings College London’s Policy Institute has conducted a major survey in conjunction with Ipsos MORI to consider predictions for the outcome and impact of Brexit on standards of living.
Dominic Raab has stated that MPs will get a straight ‘deal or no deal’ vote on the Brexit agreement.
EU leaders have shelved plans for a special Brexit summit next month, indicating that they are waiting for Theresa May to make a decisive move in a negotiation that could still take some time.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell has broken ranks with the Cabinet to warn Theresa May against extending the Brexit transition period if it means forcing the UK to abide by EU fishing rules for longer. The DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has also rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock.
According to Spain’s Prime Minister the UK and Spain have come to a Gibraltar Brexit deal.
In a speech to the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation, former head of MI6 Sir John Sawers has stated that the UK can find a new role outside the EU if the withdrawal process is carefully managed over the next five to ten years.
A People’s Vote protest is scheduled for the weekend, marching to advocate a second referendum on the deal, and it is supported by some MPs.