Johnson denies lying to queen, wins Brexit case
LONDON (AP) — The British government insisted Thursday that its forecast of food and medicine shortages, gridlock at ports and riots in the streets after a no-deal Brexit is an avoidable worst-case scenario, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied misleading Queen Elizabeth II about his reasons for suspending Parliament just weeks before the country is due to leave the European Union.
In better news for the embattled British leader, a Belfast court rejected claims that the Conservative government’s Brexit strategy should be ruled illegal because it risked undermining Northern Ireland’s peace process.
Johnson took office in July vowing to get Brexit done on the scheduled Oct. 31 date, even if there is not a divorce deal to smooth the way. But many lawmakers, economists and businesses fear a no-deal Brexit would be economically devastating and are fighting him every step of the way.
This week, Parliament forced the government to publish its official assessment of the impact of leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
The six-page classified document, dated Aug. 2, said customs checks meant the number of trucks crossing the main freight route between Calais and Dover would drop by between 40% and 60% within a day of a no-deal Brexit, with disruptions lasting up to three months. The supply of certain types of fresh foods and essential medicines would decrease, prices would go up and the poor would be hit hardest, it said.
Administration puts new asylum rule into effect
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — A new level of despair spread among tens of thousands of migrants waiting on the Mexican border to seek refuge in the U.S. as the Trump administration began enforcing radical new restrictions Thursday on who qualifies for asylum.
“The United States is the only option,” Dunea Romero, a 31-year-old Honduran, lamented with tears in her eyes at a shelter in Tijuana. She said she packed a bag and fled her homeland with her two boys, ages 7 and 11, after learning that her abusive ex-husband, a powerful gang leader, was going to have her killed.
The new U.S. policy would effectively deny asylum to nearly all migrants arriving at the southern border who aren’t from Mexico. It would disallow anyone who passes through another country without first seeking and failing to obtain asylum there.
The rule will fall most heavily on Central Americans, mainly Hondurans and Guatemalans, because they account for most people arrested or stopped at the border.
But it also represents an enormous setback for other asylum seekers, including large numbers of Africans, Haitians and Cubans who try to enter the United States by way of the Mexican border.
It is perhaps the biggest change to U.S. asylum policy since it was established in 1980 and the most consequential move of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration, a signature issue as he heads into a re-election campaign.
The Trump administration put the policy into effect the day after the Supreme Court cleared it to do so while legal challenges move forward.