From my colleague Rowena Mason
Back in the Commons Stephen Barclay claims that, if the UK leaves the EU this autumn, the negotiation of a future trade deal with the EU could conclude by the end of next year, when the transition is due to end.
He says the political declaration will provide a framework for the future deal. And he says the trade negotiators will be able to meet more easily than in, for example, the EU-US trade talks, when negotiators had to fly over from America.
From my colleague Daniel Boffey in Brussels
This is from PoliticalPics, a Twitter account run by the photographer Steve Back, who regularly covers Downing Street.
Back in the Commons committee Barclay says he cannot say what papers would be available to MPs before a possible Commons vote on Saturday. The Tory Richard Graham wanted to know if MPs would be able to read the text of the withdrawal agreement and political declaration.
From the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn
Q: What engagement has the UK government had with the Scottish and Welsh governments this week about progress in the talks? Cherry says her suspicion is that there has been none.
Barclay says he is not aware of the details, because he has been travelling, but he says he will write to the committee.
Cherry says the Scottish and Welsh government are getting far less information than the DUP and the ERG, which have been called in to No 10.
Barclay says the SNP has said it will vote against the deal anyway.
Barclays plays down suggestions government could use ‘two-letter’ strategy to sabotage Benn act
Back in the Brexit committee the SNP MP Joanna Cherry, one of the people who took the government to court in Scotland seeking an assurance that Boris Johnson would obey the Benn act, is asking the questions now.
Cherry asks Stephen Barclay if he agrees with the passage in the judgment from Lord Pentland, who said there was no need for the court to issue an order instructing the government to comply with the Benn act because the government had given assurances it would. Pentland said:
I approach matters on the basis that it would be destructive of one of the core principles of constitutional propriety and of the mutual trust that is the bedrock of the relationship between the court and the crown for the prime minister or the government to renege on what they have assured the court that the prime minister intends to do.
Barclay said the government would obey the law, but he did not endorse Pentland’s actual words.
Q: Does the government have a plan to send two letters to the EU, one asking for an extension in line with the Benn act and another saying the government does not want an extension, as Andrea Leadsom suggests.
Barclay said he was not aware of any plan to that effect.
- Barclays plays down suggestions government could use a “two-letter” strategy to sabotage the Benn act.
These are from RTE’s Tony Connelly.
Varadkar suggests another EU summit later this month might be needed because ‘many issues’ to be resolved
Leo Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach (prime minister), has been speaking this morning, Sky’s Beth Rigby reports. He said he had spoken to Boris Johnson and to the European commission this morning. He said that he was still confident but that there were “many issues” to be resolved and that another EU summit later this month might be needed.