Britain ramps up no-deal Brexit preparations for second time

Britain was preparing to respond to no-deal Brexit for a second time despite expectations that the European Union (EU) will grant a delay to its departure from the regional bloc on Wednesday night.

Officials in Whitehall are on a 24-hour-a-day shift system to be able to respond quickly to any chaos triggered by Britain crashing out of the EU on Friday.

Britain is currently due to leave the EU at 23:00 BST on April 12. If no extension is granted, the default position would be for the UK to leave on Friday without a deal.

The preparations were first made days before the initial Brexit date of March 29, including a number of contingency plans.

Hundreds of staff at Dover have been banned from taking leave, extra water supplies have been stockpiled for stranded travellers while additional toilets have been brought into the port, the London-based Evening Standard newspaper reported Wednesday.

More than 3,000 soldiers, including servicemen trained to drive trucks, are on high alert.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical bosses warned that difficulties getting some medicines had peaked.

Also on Wednesday, the country’s Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay admitted that the EU is now “in control” of Brexit. He made the remarks on BBC Radio 4 as British Prime Minister Theresa May is attending a summit in Brussels, where EU member state leaders will decide whether and for how long to delay the Brexit date, which has been already changed from March 29 to April 12.