The Latest: French minister: No-deal Brexit most likely

U.S. & World

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson rushes through the rain during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, England, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. Boris Johnson said Tuesday that his government prepared at last 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 between Northern Ireland and Ireland — the key sticking point to a deal. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Latest on British politics and Brexit plans (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

France’s foreign minister says that a no-deal Brexit is “the most plausible” possibility for the moment.

Jean-Yves Le Drian told France’s lower house of parliament that the European Union “remains available for other proposals” from Britain, but he stressed that none had been presented yet that would be “compatible” with a deal.

Le Drian warned that “there are three weeks left. It isn’t much and it’s urgent.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the government would send formal Brexit proposals to Brussels within days, saying “this is the moment when the rubber hits the road.”

Britain is due to leave the 28-nation bloc on Oct. 31.


4 p.m.

A senior Conservative lawmaker has been kicked out of the party’s annual conference after an altercation that sparked a lockdown at part of the convention venue.

The party said Geoffrey Clifton-Brown “has been asked to leave Conference and we are establishing all of the facts to see if further action is necessary.”

Earlier Tuesday, police descended on an area containing delegate lounges and a media center, as venue staff stopped anyone from entering.

Greater Manchester Police said an attendee had “attempted to enter the International Lounge area of the conference without the relevant pass,” and that security staff intervened.

The party said “the incident was totally unacceptable. … We will always adopt a zero-tolerance approach to any inappropriate behavior towards our hardworking staff.”

The incident occurred soon before Home Secretary Priti Patel delivered a speech calling the Conservatives “the party of law and order.”


3:35 p.m.

British Prime Minster Boris Johnson is learning that while Brexit is contentious there’s more than one kind of hot potato.

The U.K. leader was walking swiftly between meetings at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester when roving cameras captured images of an aide handing him what appeared to be a hot beverage in a disposable cup.

No sooner had Johnson accepted the drink with gratitude than another aide snatched it from his hand.

“Oh! Oh! Oh!” Johnson says as the cup is lifted from his grasp.

Turning to the man who handed Johnson the cup, the female aide warns: “No disposable cups.”

Britain’s government has pledged to slash the amount of waste the country produces, mindful of the damage to the world’s oceans.


10:15 a.m.

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.


8 a.m.

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.


Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at:

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