LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):
European Parliament President David Sassoli says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has made no new proposals that would unblock Brexit talks and that talking about removing the so-called backstop from the divorce agreement is a waste of time.
Sassoli told reporters that “the U.K. hasn’t proposed any alternatives, and anything that’s been legally credible and workable.”
Speaking after talks with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Sassoli said that “unfortunately, the signals that we’re getting aren’t indicating that there’s any initiative that could reopen the negotiations.”
He said “I don’t think that discussing the backstop is really going to lead anywhere.” Johnson wants the Irish border trade safeguard removed from the agreement as he believes it could permanently tie Britain to the EU’s single market.
The EU parliament must endorse a Brexit deal for one to take effect.
A Belfast court has rejected a claim that the British government’s Brexit strategy would harm Northern Ireland’s peace process.
Three linked cases had argued that a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 would undermine agreements between the British and Irish governments that were struck during the peace process.
Judge Bernard McCloskey rejected the arguments on Thursday.
The case is one of several challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to take Britain out of the European Union, with or without a divorce deal.
The U.K. Supreme Court is due to make the final on all the cases after a hearing next week.
France’s customs authorities are pushing ahead with preparations for a no-deal Brexit, testing computer systems and cameras that scan the number plates of trucks arriving from Britain.
Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin on Thursday visited the customs transit zone at the French port of Ouistreham, across the English Channel from the British port of Portsmouth.
Customs authorities say the system is designed to streamline operations and avoid the huge lines of trucks that local officials in France have warned could appear in case of a no-deal Brexit.
France has trained 600 new customs officers and built extra parking lots around its ports to hold vehicles that will have to go through extra checks if there is no agreement ahead of Britain’s exit from the EU, currently scheduled for Oct. 31.
The French government is due to hold several other tests in coming weeks to ensure that the additional border measures work.
The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator says the bloc is still waiting for proposals from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to end the impasse over Britain’s departure, which is due at the end of next month.
Michel Barnier told reporters that “we are still ready to examine objectively any concrete and legally operational proposals from the U.K.”
Johnson’s envoy David Frost has been holding talks in Brussels this week but no breakthrough has been made.
Johnson wants the Irish border provision removed from a legally-binding Brexit agreement sealed by his predecessor.
The EU insists the so-called backstop must stay in so that goods can flow smoothly between member country Ireland and Northern Ireland when it leaves along with the rest of the U.K.
The British government is insisting its assessment that there could be food and medicine shortages, gridlock at ports and riots in the streets if there is a no-deal Brexit is a worst-case scenario, not what is likely to happen.
The stark picture of disruption represents the government’s “reasonable worst case scenario” for leaving the European Union on Oct. 31 without a divorce agreement The government was forced to publish the document late Wednesday after lawmakers demanded it.
Opposition politicians say the “Operation Yellowhammer” document — the government’s code name for its Brexit preparations — shows Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reckless to consider leaving the EU without a deal.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Thursday that “we are spending the money on doing lots of things to mitigate those assumptions.”
Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit