Britain published "no-deal readiness" plans to reassure businesses and voters and suppliers of medical goods. Meanwhile, EU Council President Donald Tusk accuses PM Boris Johnson of "stupid" Brexit blame game.
Britain sought on Tuesday to ease concerns about leaving the European Union without a deal, publishing a raft of contingency plans which included a new advice service to help suppliers of medical goods.
The government published a 155-page document entitled "No-Deal Readiness Report," which covered steps taken on key issues like borders, citizen rights, energy, industry and Northern Ireland.
"At every point, the government will be candid about the challenges ahead as well as clear-eyed about the opportunities," said Michael Gove, the minister in charge of preparations.
"Together, government, businesses and citizens can work to get ready for Brexit — and look forward to the future with confidence."
With just 23 days before the UK is due to leave the bloc, the future of Brexit remains deeply uncertain and both London and Brussels are positioning themselves to avoid blame for a delay or a disorderly no-deal Brexit.
Britain's Parliament, where a majority of lawmakers have tried to prevent a no-deal Brexit, has demanded an update on the government's efforts to try to mitigate the disruption that leaving without a deal is expected to cause.
Civil unrest and food shortages?
Previously leaked documents have highlighted the potential for civil unrest, and food, fuel and medicine shortages in the event of no-deal — although the government at the time said those represented an outdated worst-case scenario, which they have tried to address.
Tuesday's document, which largely covered previously announced contingency measures and advice to businesses and consumers, set out the establishment of a new "Support Unit" to help suppliers of medical goods prepare.
"This will help to ensure that companies have the necessary customs paperwork in place for border arrangements ahead of Brexit on 31 October, if we leave without a deal," the plans said.
"These teams of specialists will be able to provide traders operating in the health and social care sector with up-to-date advice and practical guidance on the steps they need to take to prepare."
.@BorisJohnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people. You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 8, 2019
Johnson accused of 'stupid' blame game
The host of next week's European summit, EU Council President Donald Tusk, on Tuesday accused PM Boris Johnson of trying to shift blame for the failure of Brexit talks.
"What's at stake is not winning some stupid blame game," Tusk declared, in a Twitter message addressed directly to the British leader.
"At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people. You don't want a deal, you don't want an extension, you don't want to revoke, quo vadis?" he said, using Latin for "where are you going?"
Tusk, whose council represents the leaders of EU member states, was reacting after Downing Street said Germany's Angela Merkel had warned Johnson that a deal is now "overwhelmingly unlikely."
Johnson's Brexit envoy, diplomat David Frost, is in Brussels for technical talks on a possible withdrawal agreement to put to EU leaders at next week's Brussels summit.
But the two sides are still far apart over future customs arrangements for Northern Ireland, and EU officials were forced to deny reports from London that talks are close to breaking down.
"From our side, we reiterate that the EU position has not changed. We want a deal, we are working with the UK for a deal," spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters.