Brexit: Government confirms disruption planning

Dover, UK: Previously secret government reports, but revealed to industry, show a worse-case scenario of three to six months disruption to Channel port traffic.

This has now been revised on the assumption that French authorities will not be as zealous as supposed checking every truck entering France on the short sea crossings.

Last year the government’s original “reasonable worst case scenario” for no deal was that for three to six months, 75-87% of “flow” across the “short straits” would be interrupted and forced to join queues on motorways approaching the Channel Tunnel and ports.

In April this secret assessment, shared with industry via non-disclosure agreements, was improved to 50-70% of freight stopped.

This was principally because of the new preparations made on the French side of the border. For example, the Eurotunnel site for UK freight can check nine lorries at the same time and provides parking for 100 vehicles.

In the past few days, the possible disruption to trade flow in the “short straits” has been further downgraded to 40-60% of traffic. But even at this improved rate of flow, the available spaces for emergency lorry parking on the M20 and at disused airfields will fill within two weeks.

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