MANCHESTER, England — The Latest on British politics and Brexit plans (all times local):
A British transport minister says a no-deal Brexit will be “very bumpy” and could see the flow of goods through the U.K.’s biggest sea port cut in half.
George Freeman says “we could be looking at a 50% disruption to trade across the Straits of Dover” between England and France.
He says the government plans to make medicines and essential commodities a priority and is setting aside extra capacity on ferries.
But Freeman told an audience at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that much of the outcome depends on the good will of France and how strictly it enforces checks on vehicles.
Freeman says “we are planning for something we don’t control.”
Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says “this is the moment when the rubber hits the road,” as his government prepares to make firm proposals for a new divorce deal with the European Union.
Britain is due to leave the 28-nation bloc at the end of this month, and EU leaders are growing impatient with the U.K.’s failure to set out detailed plans for maintaining an open border in Ireland.
The U.K. plans to send them once the governing Conservative Party conference ends in Manchester on Wednesday,
Ireland’s deputy prime minister rejected an idea in preliminary U.K. papers for customs posts a few miles away from the border. Simon Coveney called the idea a “non-starter.”
Johnson said Tuesday that the idea won’t be included in the U.K. proposals.
The Associated Press