Brexit warnings continue

RHA warns of two-day motorway queues with no toilet access for drivers in no-deal Brexit

Dover, UK: The Road Haulage Association has warned that a no-deal Brexit could leave lorry drivers stuck for up to two days in motorway queues without nearby toilets.

The warning came as Cabinet ministers, including Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, visited the Port of Dover to discuss preparations for Brexit at the border.

Duncan Buchanan, policy director for the RHA in England and Wales said people underestimate “the scale of the complexity” of the border plans for a no-deal Brexit.

He said: “I believe the reasonable best case scenario that authorities are working on is between 24 and 48 hour delays on all vehicles.

“All vehicles, all lorries going through the port. I think that’s possibly optimistic. ‘I think it’s actually certainly optimistic.

“We have huge road delays. We have serious problems. If a lorry is caught up 24 hours on the motorway, where does the driver go to the toilet?

‘They’re putting in no welfare provisions whatsoever. There needs to be proper facilities for drivers so that their welfare is looked after,” he said.

Gove asked about alternative arrangements for traffic at the border. He said: “Obviously it’s much slower, but there’s no alternative route that I know is potentially capable of being instituted, or which currently exists.

“So for the sake of argument, you couldn’t drive to Ramsgate and get the ferry from Ramsgate – I know there isn’t one at the moment – to take you?”

A Border Force official replied: “It could do but it would be a very different volume of traffic.”

Shapps pledged that “goods and transport will continue to move in a no-deal scenario”.

Justin King, former chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “There is, at best, less than ten days of food in the system at any one time and October is just about the worst time to be generating this kind of crisis.

“The warehouses are all at capacity ahead of Christmas and as we hit the autumn we are more reliant on imported fresh food, as our growing season comes to an end.”

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