The Brexit budge?

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Media captionLaura Kuenssberg interviews David Davis about the repeal bill and a possible EU nuclear deal

Along with the now titled European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - the Great Repeal Bill is gone and forgotten - it seems that ministers are starting, even if ever so slowly, to show a bit of leg on where they might budge in the Brexit negotiations.

This afternoon, while denying the Withdrawal Bill is a power grab, promising that MPs will have a say on any issue they want, David Davis dangled possible solutions to one of Brexit's very specific issues - and also, to one of the most fundamental problems of all.

In recent days there have been rumblings of a rebellion over our membership of Euratom, the European nuclear safety agency.

MPs are worried about the implications for science research, for healthcare, and for nuclear safety. And the rebels believe they have the numbers to force the government to shift on its position.

This afternoon, Mr Davis suggested that the UK might pursue some kind of "association" membership - some kind of relationship where we are still bound by the same rules and regulations and keep our close ties.

The details have clearly not yet been decided, and the legal situation is not completely clear (lawyers disagree, just for a change!) but it seems that the government is in the process of concluding that to be stubborn on this issue will give them a political problem.

Court clash

Right on cue, the chair of the UK nuclear authority has spilled the beans, saying that the Business Secretary Greg Clark also told him that associate membership was on the cards. Working out those arrangements won't be straightforward, but ministers seem to want to show flexibility.

Second, one of the biggest clashes right across the negotiations is over the European Court of Justice.

Theresa May has said repeatedly that the ECJ must not, and will not, be able to overrule the UK courts any more. Essentially, after Brexit, British courts must be totally in charge.

For Brussels the reverse is true - the EU 27 believes the EU's courts must still be in charge of policing issues such as EU citizens' rights - basically situations that were created by European law must, in their view, be monitored by the EU even after we leave.

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It has been clear for ages that some kind of compromise arrangement where separate legal panels with lawyers or judges from both sides could be set up to provide a way through that brick wall.

Even the prime minister hinted as much at the last EU summit in Brussels. Today though, for the first time, the Brexit secretary talked more explicitly about "arbitration mechanisms", like the agreement between the EU and Canada that will monitor the trade deal between the two, suggesting they were part of the solution.

It's clear they are determined that the supremacy of EU law here will come to an end, but now the negotiations are actually under way, and the legislation is starting its long, and likely tetchy, journey through Parliament, ministers are starting to be more open about where they might budge.

With 27 other countries lined up against them, and no overall majority in Parliament, a vague whiff of compromise might just be starting to circulate - because, in truth, they have no choice.

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