LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s exit from the European Union (all times local):
Britain’s senior counter-terrorism police officer is warning of the dangers of leaving the European Union without a withdrawal deal in place.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said Wednesday that a “no-deal” Brexit that cut off Britain’s access to shared data and intelligence systems would leave both Britain and the EU in a “very bad place.”
Basu said the security threat would increase if Britain is not able to exchange data or biometrics on suspected criminals and terrorists as it currently does with EU nations.
Britain is scheduled to leave the EU bloc on March 29. A “no-deal” Brexit is possible because the British Parliament has rejected the arrangement the government negotiated with EU leaders.
Basu says a police team is working on contingency plans to handle a “no-deal” departure.
A senior British Cabinet minister says businesses need to prepare for the possibility the U.K. will leave the European Union in March without an exit deal, as a growing number of British firms say they are stockpiling goods or shifting operations overseas.
Last week British lawmakers threw out Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU divorce deal, and attempts to find a replacement are gridlocked. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said Wednesday that “no deal is a possibility.”
Many business groups say a “no-deal” Brexit will cause economic chaos by imposing tariffs, customs checks and other barriers between the U.K. and the EU, its biggest trading partner.
Carolyn Fairbairn of the Confederation of British Industry says politicians must rule out a no-deal Brexit “to halt irreversible damage and restore business confidence.”