The Latest: Brexit seen threatening 700,000 tourism jobs

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s impending departure from the European Union (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

A leading global tourism body estimates that around 700,000 jobs in travel and tourism could be lost across Europe if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal on future relations.

The World Travel & Tourism Council said Monday that 308,000 jobs would be under threat in Britain and 399,000 elsewhere in Europe.

The WTTC, which represents the travel and tourism sector worldwide, based its assessment on the forecast from the International Monetary Fund that the British economy will be 7.7 percent smaller over the next decade in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, said “a ‘no deal’ Brexit would have a dramatic impact on one of the U.K.’s most significant sectors.”

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29.

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11:15 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is suggesting it’s still possible for the European Union and Britain to come to an agreement on how the border between Ireland and the U.K’s Northern Ireland will function after Brexit, but says London needs to come forward with a proposal.

Speaking Monday during a trip to Japan, Merkel said the already-agreed Brexit withdrawal agreement can’t be renegotiated. But she said questions surrounding the border arrangements could be addressed in a declaration on the future relationship between the EU and Britain.

She says “one has to be creative, and we must listen to one another” but that an agreement on the Irish border is still possible.

But first, Merkel says “we must hear from Great Britain how they envision that.”

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10 a.m.

With Brexit just seven weeks away, Britain’s ruling Conservative Party was negotiating with itself Monday in an attempt to rework Britain’s divorce deal with the European Union.

Meanwhile, pro-EU and pro-Brexit politicians traded allegations about whether Nissan’s decision not to build a new SUV in northern England was the latest sign of Brexit-induced economic damage.

Prime Minister Theresa May was gathering pro-Brexit and pro-EU Conservative lawmakers into an “alternative arrangements working group” seeking to break Britain’s Brexit deadlock.

The group is holding three days of meetings with ministers and civil servants to investigate possible changes to the divorce deal rejected by Parliament last month.

The changes center on replacing a measure known as the backstop, designed to keep an open border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

Categories: International News