LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s planned departure from the European Union: (all times local):
The British government says U.K. citizens and businesses are not prepared for leaving the European Union without a divorce agreement, and a no-deal Brexit could see the number of trucks coming through a key Channel crossing fall by half within a day.
A planning document dated Aug. 2 and published Wednesday says “public and business readiness for a no-deal will remain at a low level” ahead of Britain’s scheduled Oct. 31 departure date from the EU.
The paper sets out the government’s “reasonable worst-case planning assumption” for a no-deal Brexit. It says because of new checks, the number of trucks crossing between Calais and Dover would fall between 40% and 60% within a day, and disruptions could last three months.
The document also says “certain types of fresh food supply will decrease” and prices will go up in a worst-case no-deal Brexit scenario.
The document was published after lawmakers in Parliament demanded it.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says an orderly departure of Britain from the European Union remains possible, less than two months before the deadline.
The United Kingdom is due to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 with little sign that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will get the new Brexit deal he wants with the EU.
Merkel told lawmakers Wednesday that “it’s my firm conviction that we still have a chance to achieve this in an orderly way.”
But she noted that Germany is also prepared for a Brexit without a deal that will result in “an economic competitor at our door.”
Merkel added that Germany wants to keep close economic and security ties to Britain after Brexit.
A Scottish court has ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend the U.K. Parliament was unlawful, but did not order the suspension overturned.
Judges said Britain’s Supreme Court must make the final decision.
A group of lawmakers is challenging the government’s decision to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament, for five weeks until Oct. 14 — just over two weeks before Britain is due to leave the European Union.
They argue Johnson is trying to evade democratic scrutiny.
Last week a court in Edinburgh rejected the challenge, but that was overturned Wednesday on appeal.
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