A fresh round of Brexit talks takes place in Brussels this week. The first round was relatively perfunctory – it focused on procedure – and so in practice this is the first week of full-on negotiating. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, spoke briefly to journalists about an hour ago as they opened the session. Intriguingly, Barnier, said:
I look forward to our negotiations this week. We will now delve into the heart of the matter. We need to examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress.
Davis said it was “incredibly important” they made good progress. “Now it’s time to get down to work and make this a successful negotiation,” he said.
Davis and Barnier did not take questions. They are due to hold a press conference on Thursday, when this round of talks has concluded. Politico Europe has a useful guide to exactly what is being discussed, and when, this week.
Here is the agenda for the day.
Morning: The latest round of Brexit talks start in Brussels.
10.15am: The TUC stages a protest about public sector pay at Westminster.
11am: Number 10 lobby briefing.
2.30pm: Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, takes questions in the Commons.
3.30pm: MPs begin an emergency debate demanded by Labour about the government’s refusal to schedule time for opposition day debates and about claims the lack of business in the Commons is creating a “zombie parliament”.
As usual, I will be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to publish a summary at lunchtime and another in the afternoon.
You can read all today’s Guardian politics stories here.
If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow.
I try to monitor the comments BTL but normally I find it impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer direct questions, although sometimes I miss them or don’t have time. Alternatively you could post a question to me on Twitter.