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The Latest: UK devotes $2.4B more to plan for no-deal Brexit

July 31, 2019
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A street cleaner outside 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday July 31, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is away from Downing street on a national tour to visit Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, seeking to reassure voters and regional politicians that Britain's Brexit split from Europe won't hurt the economy in the longterm or rip the U.K. apart. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
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A street cleaner outside 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday July 31, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is away from Downing street on a national tour to visit Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, seeking to reassure voters and regional politicians that Britain's Brexit split from Europe won't hurt the economy in the longterm or rip the U.K. apart. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit: (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

The British government says it’s setting aside more than 2 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) to prepare for leaving the European Union without a divorce deal.

Treasury chief Sajid Javid said the additional Brexit funds announced Wednesday would go to hiring 500 border officers, stockpiling essential medicines and other areas such as public information.

The government plans to spend 1.1 billion pounds immediately. That comes on top of billions spent before Britain’s originally scheduled departure date of March 29.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain will leave the EU on the new date of Oct. 31, with or without a withdrawal deal.

Economists warn no amount of preparation can eliminate the negative effects of a no-deal Brexit. The British government’s financial watchdog says leaving without a deal would cost billions and tip the country into recession.

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10:45 a.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting political leaders in Northern Ireland, where he faces a doubly difficult challenge: restoring the collapsed Belfast government, and finding a solution for the Irish border after Brexit.

Northern Ireland’s 1.8 million people have been without a functioning administration for 2½ years, since the Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government collapsed over a botched green-energy project. The rift soon widened to broader cultural and political issues separating Northern Ireland’s British unionists and Irish nationalists.

Johnson was meeting leaders of the five main political parties in hope of kick-starting efforts to restore the Belfast government.

Northern Ireland is key to securing the U.K’.s departure from the European Union, and is likely to be among the hardest-hit areas if it goes wrong.

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9:10 a.m.

Britain’s auto trade body says investment in the industry effectively stopped in the first half of this year amid fears the U.K. will leave the European Union without a transitional deal to protect trade.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said Wednesday that companies made just 90 million pounds ($110 million) of new investments in the industry in January-June, compared with an average annual total of 2.7 billion pounds over the previous seven years. Car production dropped 20.1% in the first half.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said concern about a no-deal Brexit is causing investors to sit on their hands.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson took office last week promising to leave the 28-nation bloc by Oct. 31 with or without a deal, triggering a drop in the pound.

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