Welcome to our “Things You Need To Know” daily update. Every day we’ll be here for you, summarising the key talking points in as quick of a time as possible.
Today we are focusing on the aftermath of yesterday’s Article 50 trigger. Here’s the big Brexit developments.
1. Merkel And Hollande Reject Theresa May’s Brexit Vision
Theresa May’s Brexit vision has been dismissed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Mrs May’s Article 50 letter pressed for agreement on a new relationship alongside the terms of exit.
However, Mrs Merkel has said “The negotiations must first clarify how we will disentangle our interlinked relationship. And only when this question is dealt with, can we, hopefully soon after, begin talking about our future relationship.”
This view has been backed up by French President Francois Hollande. He called the Prime Minister this morning, telling her that trade deal talks shouldn’t be at the same time as divorce talks.
2. Security Issue In May’s Article 50 Letter
One of the most controversial parts of the Prime Minister’s Article 50 letter related to security co-operation.
EU Chief Negotiator Guy Verhofstadt has criticized part of the letter, stating “I find the letter of Mrs May very constructive, generally, but there is also one threat in it, in saying ‘look, we want also to co-operate with you on security issues in our common fight against terrorism but you have to give us a good deal on trade and economy.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis has denied that security is being used as a bargaining chip. Mrs May’s letter said, “In security terms a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.”
3. David Cameron Defends Holding The Referendum
Former Prime Minister David Cameron has defended holding last year’s referendum which resulted in the UK’s Brexit.
“I thought it right to hold the referendum because this issue had been poisoning British politics for years,” he said.
“We held the referendum and, of course, the result is not the result that I sought. But it was a decisive result and that’s why Theresa May quite rightly is taking the next step to ensuring the people’s will is followed through.”
4. European Meetings Taking Place
Several meetings are taking place today, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Malta. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will also be in attendance.
Meanwhile, UK Chancellor Philip Hammond will be in Berlin visiting his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble.
5. The Great Repeal Bill To Be Published
The UK’s Great Repeal Bill is to be published today, transferring EU laws into being British laws.
Once these laws become British, the government can then decide which ones to keep and which ones to dismantle.