Minister’s warn­ing of cross-Chan­nel delays

Yorkshire Post - - BREXIT:SPECIAL REPORT -

A NO-DEAL Brexit could lead to six months of chaos on key crossChan­nel routes, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Gov­ern­ment as­sess­ment.

Fer­ries be­tween Dover and Calais and traf­fic us­ing the Chan­nel Tun­nel could be dis­rupted un­til the end of Septem­ber 2019.

A let­ter sent by Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock to the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try and NHS con­tained the warn­ing.

He said: “Al­though we can­not know ex­actly what each mem­ber state will do with re­spect to checks on the EU border, the cross-Gov­ern­ment plan­ning as­sump­tions have been re­vised so we can pre­pare for the po­ten­tial im­pacts that the im­po­si­tion of third coun­try con­trols by mem­ber states could have.

“These im­pacts are likely to be felt mostly on the short straits cross­ings into Dover and Folke­stone, where the fre­quent and closed loop na­ture of these mean that both ex­ports and im­ports would be af­fected.

“The re­vised cross-Gov­ern­ment plan­ning as­sump­tions show that there will be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced ac­cess across the short straits, for up to six months.

“This is very much a worstcase sce­nario; how­ever, as a re­spon­si­ble Gov­ern­ment, we have a duty to plan for all sce­nar­ios.”

Min­is­ters are draw­ing up plans to fly in vi­tal drugs and give pri­or­ity to lor­ries car­ry­ing med­i­cal sup­plies at grid­locked ports.

Sep­a­rately, Kent Coun­cil’s leader Paul Carter, whose county would be badly-hit by a no-deal Brexit, yesterday called for emer­gency mea­sures to pre­vent lor­ries en­ter­ing the county to avoid chaos on the roads.

‘Im­pacts are likely to be felt mostly on cross­ings into Dover and Folke­stone.’

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