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Brexit 1) EU threatens to withhold rebate

“Europe is threatening to keep back Britain’s final rebate payment of €5 billion as part of the negotiations over the Brexit bill, The Telegraph can disclose. Senior British sources said that negotiations over the bill, which the EU sets at €60 billion (£53.6 billion), had still not settled whether the UK would receive the €5 billion (£4.46 billion) payment as part of the final settlement when it leaves the EU in March 2019. There is a problem here, and the issue over whether the EU will pay us the 2018 rebate has not been resolved,” the source in Whitehall confirmed. The issue of the rebate, won by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, is a key irritant between the two sides as they try to move on to trade talks next month.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brexit mutineers are objecting not just to the referendum but to a decision in Parliament – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Don’t be Putin’s useful idiots Grieve tells Brexiteers – Interview with Dominic Grieve, The Times

>Yesterday: Rebecca Park on Comment: A Brexit deal on financial services is achievable

Brexit 2) Tusk gives May two deadline to offer more money

“Theresa May has been told she has two weeks to put more money on the table if the EU is to agree to begin Brexit trade talks before the end of the year. EU Council President Donald Tusk said he was “ready” to move onto the next phase of Brexit talks, covering future relations with the UK. But he said the UK must show much more progress on the “divorce bill” and the Irish border by early next month. Mrs May said “good progress” was being made but more needed to be done. The talks are currently deadlocked over the UK’s financial settlement, citizens’ rights and Ireland with Irish PM Leo Varadkar accusing the UK of not “thinking through” the implications of Brexit for his country.” – BBC

Brexit 3) Irish demand border compromise

“The Irish government has said Brexit trade deal talks should not proceed until there is a firm commitment to preventing a “hard” Irish border. Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said the assurance must be written down before the talks move on. “Before we move to phase two talks on trade, we want taken off the table any suggestion that there will be a physical border,” Mr Varadkar said. He was speaking at a European summit, attended by Prime Minister Theresa May.” – BBC

Brexit 4) UBS increases growth estimate

“One of Europe’s biggest banks has admitted the UK’s economic outlook is ‘not as bleak as many think’ after previously issuing dire warnings over the impact of Brexit. Economists at UBS Wealth Management, an arm of Swiss bank UBS, are now saying that the economy will grow faster than expected. They have forecast 1.1pc growth next year, still well behind other estimates, but up from an earlier projection of 0.7pc.” – Daily Mail

Brexit 5) Fixing date “takes away flexibility” complain MPs

“Theresa May is facing further pressure to abandon plans to enshrine the date of Brexit in law after a cross-party committee of MPs warned that it could cause “significant difficulties” in talks with Brussels. Fixing the moment of the withdrawal at 11pm on March 29, 2019, would take away ministers’ flexibility if the negotiations dragged on, the Exiting the European Union Committee said. Despite the majority report, four of the eight Conservative MPs and the single Democratic Unionist voted to reject it.” – The Times

  • Amendment to fix date will go ahead – The Sun

Brexit 6) Moore: It’s time to get annoyed with Davis

“I feel it is time to get annoyed with David Davis. For ages now, he has been flying from meeting to meeting, speaking at dinner after dinner, staying late at party after party, encouraging his bonhomous reassurance to be favourably contrasted with Mrs May’s anxious gloom. What has he to show for it? What concessions has he won? The key to negotiations is putting your best foot forward at the meetings, not putting on a brave face after them. Michel Barnier has the right idea – a grave expression, a guardedly polite manner and the tenacious pursuit of what he wants. Instead of chattering, he just quietly pockets each concession and tries to turn it into the logical basis for the next. Unfortunately, he’s on the other side.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Claims that Davis may resign “are simply wrong”. Who gains from media briefing against him?

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