May rejects customs union as Britain signs deal with Switzerland

London (CNN)British Prime Minister Theresa May has again rejected calls for the UK to remain in a customs union with the European Union after the country leaves the bloc — but said she remains open to further talks with the opposition Labour Party as the clock ticks toward a potential no-deal Brexit. But May said she would welcome further talks on what “alternative arrangements” should be sought to the backstop — an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland — which has stalled parliamentary support for her proposals so far. “One of the things I would like our teams to discuss is the exact nature of those alternative arrangements,” May wrote. …

Police advise stores to hire extra security in case of Brexit panic-buying

London (CNN)British police have advised retailers to consider hiring additional security to cope with fears of food shortages and other goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit. “It’s hard to contingency for fresh food, where we can’t stockpile. Like other retailers, we’d be keen that there is no friction at the border given the UK imports half of the fresh food it eats,” the UK’s Press Association news agency reported Lewis as saying. The UK has ramped up contingency plans in recent weeks as the chances of a no-deal Brexit rise. Businesses and lobby groups have warned of disruptions at ports as well as dwindling medical supplies, and Britain’s defense secretary has put 3,500 troops on standby. The Department …