The Latest: Bank trims food price hike from no-deal Brexit

World
Read Time5 Minutes, 57 Seconds

The Latest on Britain’s bid to leave the European Union (all times local):

3:00 p.m.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney says food prices in Britain probably won’t increase as much as previously thought if the country leaves the EU without a deal.

Carneys told British lawmakers on Wednesday the tariff schedule the government published is lower than the bank predicted in November. It warned at then that food prices could rise by 10% in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario.

He says food prices are anticipated now to rise by 5% to 6%, and that would largely be a result of a fall in the value of the pound.

Carney says the bank expects the pound to fall if the U.K. leaves without a withdrawal Brexit and raise the cost of imported goods.

Overall, the bank is expecting inflation to more than double from the current rate around 2% to more than 5%, largely because of higher imports.

———

2:55 p.m.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney says the British economy is in better shape to cope with a no-deal Brexit and that another extension to the country’s departure from the European Union could help further.

Addressing lawmakers on Wednesday, Carney said the bank’s worst-case scenario over the impact of a no-deal Brexit was “less severe” than November.

It warned then the British economy could shrink 8% in the months after a disorderly departure.

Carney didn’t directly quantify the scale of the likely output drop but has previously indicated that it would be more in the 5%-6% range.

He said “more can be accomplished” if there is a further Brexit delay to Jan. 31.

In the event Britain crashes out of the EU on the scheduled Brexit date of Oct. 31 without a deal, Carney said the bank can provide liquidity and lower the buffers banks have so they can lend more. However, he says interest rates could go either way.

———

2:45 p.m.

A lawmaker for Britain’s opposition Labour Party has gotten an unusual round of applause after challenging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to apologize for comparing Muslim women who wear face-covering veils to “letter boxes.”

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi took on Johnson during the prime minister’s weekly question-and-answer session before the House of Commons on Wednesday. Dhesi asked Johnson to say he was sorry for the “derogatory and divisive” remarks in a newspaper column.

The Sikh lawmaker said that “for those of us from a young age who have had to endure and face up to being called names such as towel head or Taliban or coming from Bongo Bongo land, we can appreciate full well the hurt and the pain felt by already vulnerable Muslim women when they are described as looking like bank robbers or letter boxes.”

Johnson demurred, saying his remarks were taken out of context.

————

1:30 p.m.

The European Union is warning businesses and people likely to be hit by Brexit to make sure they are prepared for the possibility that Britain might leave the bloc without an agreement at the end of next month.

The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, on Wednesday released a checklist for companies to use to help minimize expected disruptions to trade after Britain departs on Oct 31.

The commission says EU funds set up to respond to natural disasters and help people whose jobs are hit by major changes in world trade should be used to help businesses, workers and countries hardest hit by any no-deal.

A total of 780 million euros ($860 million) would be available, if the EU parliament and member countries endorse the move. Britain would have no access to the money.

———

1:20 p.m.

The German government is leaving open the question of whether it would support another delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union.

It is standing by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s previous comments that the two sides can still work toward a deal by the Oct. 31 deadline “if the will is there is both sides.”

Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, refused to comment directly on the latest goings-on in Britain’s Parliament, where opponents of Prime Minister Boris Johnson are trying to prevent a no-deal Brexit at the end of next month. Seibert said it would be up to Britain to request any delay, “and if it happened again, the EU would address it.”

Johnson hasn’t yet been to Brussels as prime minister but did visit Berlin and Paris last month.

Seibert said Merkel’s comments about the possibility of a deal stand, “but it is also clear that this is about Britain putting concrete and realistic proposals on the table in Brussels.”

———

1:10 p.m.

The European Union says it is still awaiting proposals from Britain to break the Brexit deadlock as technical talks aimed at ending the impasse get underway in Brussels.

European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said “there is nothing new” in terms of new ideas from London.

Andreeva says “we are willing to work constructively with Prime Minister (Boris) Johnson and to look at any concrete proposals that he may have as long as they are compatible with the withdrawal agreement.”

Britain’s Brexit envoy David Frost is in Brussels for technical talks with EU counterparts to see whether progress can be made.

Britain wants to remove the so-called backstop arrangement aimed at keeping goods flowing smoothly between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland in the U.K. after Brexit from the legally-binding divorce agreement. The EU insists it must remain.

———

10:30 a.m.

A Scottish court says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s planned suspension of Parliament is lawful.

The closely watched decision was revealed Wednesday. It is the first of several challenges to Johnson’s maneuver that gives lawmakers little time to prevent Britain from crashing out of the European Union without an agreement on Oct. 31.

Transparency campaigner Gina Miller, who won a ruling in the Supreme Court in 2017 that stopped the government from triggering the countdown to Brexit without a vote in Parliament, has another legal challenge in the works. 

A human rights campaigner has also sued in Northern Ireland, arguing that the historic Good Friday accord that brought peace is in jeopardy because of Johnson’s actions.

———

9:25 a.m.

Britain’s Parliament will attempt to defy Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans on Wednesday as lawmakers seek a way out of the impasse that has gripped the nation since the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

The House of Commons is confronting Johnson over his insistence that the U.K. leave the EU on Oct. 31 even without a withdrawal agreement to cushion the economic blow. On Wednesday, it will consider a measure that will try to block a departure without a deal.

Johnson has said he will seek a general election if the lawmakers succeed, taking his message directly to the people in his bid to deliver Brexit, come what may.

But it is unclear whether he will have the votes for such a move. On Tuesday, Johnson lost his first vote in Parliament since becoming prime minister in July and has seen his tenuous grip on power weakened by defections from his party that cost him his working majority.

———

Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

0 0

Please follow and like us:
error