Richard North, 19/12/2017  

The court case in Scotland was adjourned after one day, with a short administrative hearing scheduled for Thursday, when I will not be needed. I have thus returned home. The bad news is that the case proper starts on 8 January and is expected to last 2-3 weeks.

Meanwhile, as advertised, the Prime Minister yesterday morning started formal discussions with her own Cabinet on the UK's framework relationship with the EU. The first phase of this process was talks with a ten-member "war cabinet", which met in Downing Street for ninety minutes.

It is understood that, despite Barnier's recent intervention when he repeated that the UK would not be able to "cherry-pick" a bespoke deal, Mrs May argued for precisely that – a "bespoke and ambitious" trade deal.

I'll have a look at that and other matters through the day and will post as normal tonight.

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