Cicero Brex-o-meter: UK compromises on financial settlement but Ireland sets up stand-off

Cabinet has reportedly agreed to make an offer of €40 bn on the financial settlement on the proviso talks move on to Phase 2. This represents a pragmatic concession from the Brexiteers. Donald Tusk has said he is now more optimistic that progress can be made. However, the Irish border question has not yet been dealt with to the satisfaction of the Irish Government, which says the only way a hard border can be avoided is if the North remains in the EUCU and Single Market. This is unacceptable both to the UK Government and the DUP which is propping it up in Parliament. This sets up a potential stand-off that could slow progress.

The EU Withdrawal Bill is receiving scrutiny in the Commons. Despite cross-party opposition on a number of aspects of the current text, the Government has not yet been defeated in any votes. Labour’s position on Brexit remains unclear and is seemingly driven by tactical considerations. The Cabinet agreement to increase the financial offer represents a slight softening in the Government’s position, so we have adjusted the indicator slightly.

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