The European Union has set out its demands for the temporary transition period after the UK leaves in March 2019, and EU wants the UK to continue to follow its rules but not be involved in making decisions.
The marathon bill paving the way for Britain to leave the European Union passed a crucial stage in the House of Commons on Wednesday night. With support of 324 MPs, and the opposition of 295 MPs, a government majority of just 29, the bill for Exiting the EU aims to convert all European law into British law.
The German government on Wednesday sought to pour cold water over Britain's hopes of a bespoke post-Brexit arrangement for financial services. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman told reporters that Berlin's focus would remain on preserving a unified stance among the 27 EU nations as Brexit negotiations prepare to enter a critical phase. Britain's financial services industry is expected to be one the main battlegrounds in the next stage of talks.
Britain and the EU face a “furious race against time” to agree a transition deal and future trade relations within the next 10 months, European Council president Donald Tusk has said. In a letter to the leaders of the 27 remaining EU states ahead of a crucial summit on December 14-15, Mr Tusk urged them to show continued “unity” as Brexit negotiations enter their second phase.
Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell has called for basic answers about the deal struck with European leaders ahead of talks with UK ministers. Mr Russell is in London for a summit with members of the UK government and the other devolved administrations.
There were calls for David Davis to resign as Brexit Secretary and face investigation for contempt of Parliament, after he admitted that the UK Government has produced no impact assessments on the effect of Brexit on different sectors of the UK economy.
Manfred Weber, a leading lawmaker in the European Parliament and head of the European People Party, said on Wednesday he was more confident about Britain and the European Union ironing out difficulties in the Brexit talks.
The Brexit deal covering “withdrawal” issues will only hold if it is approved by MPs and peers in a new piece of legislation to put it into British law, David Davis has said. The Brexit Secretary announced a Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill, which MPs will be able to amend, to cover areas such as citizens’ rights, the so-called divorce bill and a transition period.
The European Union's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, says he is planning for the possible collapse of Brexit negotiations with the UK. Barnier was talking to French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche days after giving the UK a two-week deadline to clarify key issues.
European business leaders will meet UK Prime Minister Theresa May later on Monday to voice concerns about the future of UK-EU trade. Experts from groups including the CBI and Business-Europe will stress the need for a transitional deal that preserves the status quo after Brexit.