MPs to quiz David Davis on Brexit talks progress amid legislation delay claims

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Brexit Secretary David Davis will be quizzed by MPs on developments in European Union divorce talks amid claims he has held up progress on crucial exit laws.

Legislation that will put existing EU regulations on the domestic statute book cleared its first Commons hurdle in early September and, although no date was formally set for its return, it was widely expected to have returned earlier this month.

Nearly 400 amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill have been tabled but Mr Davis has reportedly failed to hold vital meetings with senior MPs to help smooth its progress.

A Cabinet source told The Daily Telegraph the Brexit Secretary is "not keeping his end of the bargain" and he was also accused of not "doing his prep".

It comes after the City called for clarity over plans for a post-Brexit transition period by the end of the year.

The City of London Corporation warned Chancellor Philip Hammond it was "critical" details were set out quickly or contingency plans will be put into force.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, said Brexit was the "stupidest thing any country has ever done" apart from the election of Donald Trump as US president, according to the Guardian.

The media mogul reportedly told a technology conference in Boston two weeks ago "maybe I wouldn't have" opened a new European headquarters in London if he had known the UK was going to quit the EU.

"My former wife was a Brit, my daughters have British passports, so we love England - it's the father of our country, I suppose," Mr Bloomberg said according to the newspaper.

"But what they are doing is not good and there is no easy way to get out of it because if they don't pay a penalty, everyone else would drop out. So they can't get as good of a deal as they had before."

He added: "I did say that I thought it was the single stupidest thing any country has ever done but then we Trumped it."

Mr Davis will be pressed on the progress made in the Brexit talks when he appears before the Commons Exiting the EU select committee.

Donald Tusk suggested on Tuesday the UK could decide to remain in the bloc despite the formal process triggering Brexit putting the country on course to leave in March 2019.

The European Council president told MEPs: "It is in fact up to London how this will end: With a good deal, no deal or no Brexit.

"But in each of these scenarios we will protect our common interest only by being together."

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier indicated that agreement on a free trade deal with Britain after it leaves the European Union will take years to complete.