Barnier says EU is prepared to ‘improve’ Irish border offer…

“The EU has revealed it is willing to ‘improve’ its offer to the UK on the Irish border to help seal a quick Brexit deal. Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier has revealed his team is working on a compromise to avoid the return of a hard border and to bring agreement into ‘grasp’.  Theresa May’s will give a speech to EU leaders in Salzburg later today where she will try to kill off any chance of Northern Ireland being inside the EU’s customs union. And last night Mr Barnier admitted he was working on a major concession to ensure the EU respect the territorial integrity of the UK in an attempt to break the talks deadlock. The EU official suggested officials could inspect goods entering the UK via Ireland on ferries and in business premises away from the border… Barnier said that an Irish ‘backstop’ must be legally operationally and respect the UK’s constitutional integrity.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister begins critical 48 hours with plea to EU leaders – The Times
  • Appeal to leaders will ‘bypass Barnier’ – Daily Express
  • Tusk cuts short May’s Salzburg speech – Daily Mail
  • Downing Street takes to social media to sell Chequers – The Times


  • Brussels must not ask the unacceptable of Britain – Theresa May, Die Welt
  • Her pitch is clear: give me Chequers, or you get Corbyn – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph

…as Davis says negotiations will ‘reset’ in the autumn…

“Former Brexit secretary David Davis said on Wednesday he expected negotiations between the UK and the EU to “re-set” as the deadline for agreeing a deal draws closer, and that there would be “other deals on the table” by November. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Davis said both sides were “afraid of no deal” and would “get to a point where neither side can agree,” at which point there would have to be “some sort of re-set.” Mr Davis, who resigned in July as Brexit secretary in protest against what he described as Prime Minister Theresa May’s “soft Brexit” plan, said he did not expect much progress to be made at the two-day informal meeting of EU leaders in Salzburg that begins on Wednesday. He said the EU tended to wait until the “last possible moment” before shifting its negotiating position, and would begin to soften its stance towards the UK in October or November.” – FT

  • Ministers accuse Brussels of re-opening customs row – The Sun
  • Raab says ball is in EU’s court after compromises – Daily Telegraph
  • Eastern Member States push for UK’s ‘voice to be heard’ – The Sun


  • No-deal Brexit would ‘hinder Salisbury inquiry’ – The Times
  • BMW move scheduled closure of Mini plant to avoid Brexit disruption – Daily Mail
  • Scottish Lib Dem leader tears into Chequers – The Scotsman

>Yesterday: Henry Newman’s column: Now the Government must promote Chequers – which, though not perfect, is at least practicable

…and May speaks out against a second referendum

“She also issued a stark warning that demands for a second EU referendum risks shattering trust in Westminster. The Prime Minister added: “We gave people the opportunity to make a choice. They made that choice. “If we as politicians want people to trust us, then we have to deliver for them on that.”… Mrs May was scathing about the People’s Vote and other well-funded campaign groups demanding a fresh national referendum on the Brexit decision. “When the referendum took place, we gave people the opportunity to make a choice. They made that choice. If we as politicians want people to trust us, then we have to deliver for them on that,” the Prime Minister said. “This was probably the biggest exercise in democracy in our country’s history. If we were to go back on that vote, it would destroy trust in politicians.”” – Daily Express

  • ‘Multiple opportunities’ for new vote, campaigners insist – BBC
  • Cable urges Liberal Democrats to listen to Leave voters – The Times

Steve Baker: Ministers are wrong to suggest we could easily re-negotiate Chequers later

“Ministers are now telling EU negotiators that they don’t expect a Chequers-based muddle to last. It isn’t the permanent deal they want. A PM might change it. It’s only the Government’s approach “for now”. That is ridiculous. How can the EU negotiate when our own ministers are suggesting we might chuck Chequers later? The right approach is to chuck Chequers now. Ministers are implying it would be easy for a PM to change a deal later. That’s wrong. There would be an international treaty agreed by the EU and its member states. Such treaties are difficult to secure and to change, just like the treaties binding the UK into the EU. Would we need a new manifesto pledge to renegotiate? Would we need another referendum? And would the EU even agree to open negotiations after we had paid tens of billions in departing?” – The Sun

  • The Prime Minister’s do-what-I-say tactics are undemocratic – Justine Greening, The Times
  • We have one chance to get Brexit right, and ditching Chequers will let us take it – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Daily Telegraph
  • If Labour is serious about power it must back a People’s Vote – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
  • Young anti-Brexit voters wrong to think they matter more – Naomi Firsht, Times Red Box
  • Single-minded May can scent victory – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • Parliament has a ‘golden moment’ to stop Brexit – Andrew Adonis, The Guardian

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