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

5:35 p.m.

Britain’s Brexit minister says he is optimistic about progress in divorce talks with the European Union, but is planning for the possibility they will break down.

Brexit Secretary David Davis told the Conservative Party’s annual conference on Tuesday that Britain “will be ready for the alternative” if negotiations end without a deal.

He said officials are conducting “a determined exercise … devoted to contingency arrangements so that we are ready for any outcome.”

Many British businesses fear what will happen if the U.K. does not strike a new trade deal with the bloc and has to trade on World Trade Organization terms that would bring tariffs and other barriers.

Davis says good progress is being made toward a deal, dismissing what he says are “lurid accounts” of crisis and breakdown.


12:30 p.m.

The European Parliament is overwhelmingly urging EU leaders not to move to the next phase of Brexit negotiations with Britain, saying not enough progress on key separation issues has been made.

The Parliament approved a resolution that “sufficient progress has not yet been made” on citizens’ rights, Irish relations and financial obligations to allow for the talks to incorporate a future trade and security relation, as Britain has been seeking.

A next round of talks is set for next week and the legislators said that “unless there is a major breakthrough,” a summit of EU leaders on Oct. 19-20 should hold off on expanding the talks. Observers have said such a breakthrough is unlikely.

The resolution was approved by a vote of 557 to 92 with 29 abstentions.


10:05 a.m.

The head of the biggest party grouping in the European Parliament is calling for British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to be sacked for creating confusion over Brexit.

European People’s Party chairman Manfred Weber appealed to Prime Minister Theresa May to sack Johnson, “because we need a clear answer who is responsible for the British position.”

Weber turned Henry Kissinger’s observation about the many leaders in the EU onto Britain, asking who he should call to know the real U.K. position on the country’s withdrawal from the bloc: “Theresa May, Boris Johnson, or even (Brexit negotiator) David Davis?”


9:45 a.m.

The European Union says not enough progress has been made in Brexit discussions with Britain, particularly over what London has to pay as part of its departure, to allow discussions to move onto future trade arrangements.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a session at the European parliament that more needs to be done on the withdrawal issues for EU nations to agree moving to the next phase of future relations later this month.

Financial issues appear to be a key stumbling block to an orderly British withdrawal from the EU.

Juncker said “the taxpayers in the EU 27 should not pay for the British decision” to leave while the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said “serious differences remain.”