• Cutting through all the noise from yesterday’s talks in Brussels, it should be remembered that both the UK and EU said they are close to a deal
  • It is evident that progress has been made, and that both negotiating parties believe a deal can be agreed soon. As the Government made clear, yesterday’s talks were an ‘important staging post’ ahead of next week’s European Council.
  • These are complex negotiations, therefore it is only natural that the final details take a little longer to confirm.
  • Regarding the debate over ‘regulatory convergence’, the whole UK voted to leave the EU, and as one UK we will leave. This means England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland leaving the EU’s customs union and single market

EU citizens’ rights will be well protected in UK law

  • The Sun reports that the EU rejected the PM’s offer to time limit ECJ judges’ jurisdiction over EU citizens living in the UK (Sun, December 2017, link)
  • It should be noted that the ECJ has no jurisdiction of EU citizens in other third countries, therefore there is clearly no precedent for the UK to accept its jurisdiction. This demonstrates how generous Theresa May’s reported proposal was.
  • The EU should recognise the concessions the PM is making. After all, it is in the interests of the EU to agree to move talks on to trade.
  • The UK’s legal system is renowned the world over, and the rights of EU citizens will be enshrined in UK law and protected by the British courts.

Good economic news

  • Data published yesterday reveals that last month’s PMI measurement for construction reached 53, beating the expected level of 51. This is the sharpest increase in business activity in the sector since June, with new orders and employment numbers rising by their most in five months (CityAM, December 2017, link).
  • London attracted more visitors than any other European destination this year, with the number of visitors from the continent rising by 24%, according to data from travel agent eDreams (Telegraph, December 2017, link).
  • Total retail sales for November 2017 were up 1.5% year-on-year, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC, December 2017, link)
  • This month’s services PMI measurement of 53.8 signalled a ‘solid increase in service sector business activity’ (Markit Economics, December 2017, link).
  • Two thirds of financial firms will go ahead with their recruitment plans, despite Brexit, a new survey by recruiting firm Hays has shown (London School of Business and Finance, December 2017, link).