News Daily: Customs plan and Jo Cox 'hero'

By Esther Webber
BBC News

  • Published

Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Brexit Secretary David Davis (left) and the EU Commission's Michel Barnier are leading the negotiations for the two sides

The government has published a plan for an interim customs union with the EU as it withdraws from the bloc, the first in a series of papers setting out its position on key areas of Brexit negotiations.

The proposal would see the UK remain free from tariffs on goods within the EU and at the same time ministers would expect to be able to negotiate new international trade deals - something they cannot currently do from within the customs union.

Once this temporary arrangement period expires, the UK would seek a "highly streamlined" border with the EU, or a new "partnership" with no customs border at all.

It's intended to provide reassurance to businesses, but Labour has claimed it's a ploy to "gloss over" divisions within the cabinet.

Analysis: Having our cake and eating it?

By Simon Jack, business editor

The government is promising that businesses will only have to adjust once to our eventual customs relationship with the EU.

That must mean that the day after we leave the EU, and enter the interim period, there will be no change. So we are out of the customs union, but everything will pretty much stay the same until the interim period is over.

The only difference is that because we are technically out of the customs union, we will be able to negotiate our own trade deals with non-EU countries, while enjoying the benefits of frictionless trade we have now.

This approach will look to many like the "having our cake and eating it" that Boris Johnson was so keen on - and EU officials weren't.

Kim Jong-un 'briefed' on attacking Guam

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been briefed on a plan to fire missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam, according to state media. The report on news agency KCNA said Kim Jong-un "examined the plan for a long time" and discussed it with senior military officials. But, crucially, the report added that the North Korean leader would watch the US before making any decision, signalling an apparent deceleration in the provocative rhetoric.

Jo Cox 'hero' dies

The family of Bernard Kenny, who tried to stop the murder of MP Jo Cox in West Yorkshire last year, says he has died aged 79. The former miner was stabbed as he intervened when Thomas Mair attacked Mrs Cox in Birstall in 2016, and was later awarded the George Medal. Tracey Brabin MP, who was elected in Jo Cox's constituency after her death, said: "Bernard will forever be remembered as a true hero."

Sierra Leone mudslides kill hundreds

More than 300 people have been killed in mudslides and flooding near Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown. A hillside in the Regent area collapsed early on Monday following heavy rains, leaving many houses covered in mud. The number of casualties is expected to rise, with local residents reportedly trying to recover bodies from the rubble with their bare hands.

What the papers say

The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail report on a "backlash" against the announcement that Big Ben will fall silent for four years - with the Telegraph quoting senior MPs as calling the move "entirely bonkers". The Times interprets today's customs union proposal as evidence that Chancellor Philip Hammond has won the upper hand over International Trade Secretary Liam Fox as reported divisions continue in the cabinet over how to proceed with Brexit.

Daily digest

Swift justice Pop star Taylor Swift wins an assault case against DJ David Mueller

Railroaded Train passengers are braced for news of an increase in regulated rail fares from January 2018

Fat not fit People who are overweight face increased health risks even if they appear medically healthy, experts warn

Snap judgement Social media giant Snap's shares plunge following disappointing results

If you watch one thing today

Media caption,

Post-war US anti-Nazi film makes comeback after Charlottesville violence

If you listen to one thing today

Image source, AFP

If you read one thing today

Image source, Hugh Miles
Image caption,
Prince Sultan bin Turki, pictured centre

Today's lookahead

09:30 The ONS publishes the inflation figures for July which will be used as the benchmark for rail fare rises to be introduced in January 2018

Today Tory MP Craig MacKinlay appears in court for the first time after being charged with falsely recording election expenses in 2015

On this day

1947 India officially became an independent country outside British rule

1992 The first Premier League matches were played, with the first goal by Brian Deane of Sheffield United as they beat Manchester United 2-1

From elsewhere