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UK readies emergency transport to bring in supplies in no-deal Brexit
LONDON (Reuters) – The British government is drawing up plans to charter planes and ferries to ensure vital supplies such as medicines can be brought into the country if the government fails to secure a trade deal before leaving the European Union.
Cabinet Office minister David Lidington announced on Tuesday that the Department for Transport is leading a cross-government approach to ensure ministries have the capability to bring in supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Just four months before the United Kingdom is due to leave the world’s largest bloc, the risk of a no-deal Brexit is rising, with the leading candidate to be the next prime minister Boris Johnson saying he was willing to leave without a deal.
“Guaranteeing the supply of critical ‘category 1’ goods, including medicines, medical products, veterinary medicines and chemicals remains an essential element of the government’s No Deal contingency planning,” Lidington said in a statement.
“The government is therefore undertaking steps to secure freight capacity for suppliers of these goods in a No-Deal scenario.”
Britain’s transport ministry faced ridicule earlier this year after stacking up a 50 million pound ($63 million) loss for cancelling contracts to charter extra ferries to bring in essential supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The decision to award the contracts has been a major political embarrassment after it emerged the government handed out a 14 million pound contract for extra ferries to a company that owned no ferries and published terms and conditions on its website that appeared to be for a takeaway food business.
Forex – U.S. Dollar Falls as Trump Ramps up Currency War Talk
The U.S. dollar turned down Wednesday after President Donald Trump launched another broadside against the euro zone and China, accusing of them of engaging in competitive devaluations to “take advantage” of the U.S.
His comments are the clearest hint yet that the administration considers itself in a ‘currency war’ with major trading partners, something that analysts fear could deal further blows to global business confidence and trade.
“These people are devaluing their currency because they’re not doing well against us,” Trump told Fox Business News in an interview. “So they devalue and we can’t. We are no longer on a level playing field.”
Trump had earlier again voiced frustration with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for not cutting interest rates, less than a day after Powell said in a speech that the Fed still wanted to see how badly the economy is slowed down by the ongoing trade war with China. Powell’s comments had helped lift the dollar from a three-month low, which it hit last week after the central bank opened up the door for rate cuts this year.