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Two Day Export Delays and 7,000 Trucks Queuing in Kent Post-Transition Period, Letter Reveals

The letter, sent by Cabinet Minister Michael Gove and seen by the BBC, suggests disruption at the border in January 2021, when the UK-EU Transition Deal Ends

Published on September 23, 2020

Lorries Queuing on the M20 Lorries queued on the M20. Photo © Oast House Archive (cc-by-sa/2.0)

A letter from Cabinet Minister Michael Gove to the freight industry is warning that if a deal is not agreed between the EU and the UK, there could be substantial delays in Kent when the transition period between the two entities expires on December 31, 2020.

The letter was revealed in a report by the BBC's Economics Editor, Faisal Islam. According to the report, "Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, responsible for no-deal planning, wrote to logistics groups with the government's 'reasonable worst-case scenario' planning for when the UK leaves the EU's single market and customs union rules on 1 January."

According to the report, the reasonable worst-case scenario includes up to 7,000 lorries needing to be queued in Kent, with delays of up to 2 days. The letter also says that "Both imports and exports could be disrupted to a similar extent".

The Government has been trialing a system known as Operation Brock, formerly Operation Stack, which is a traffic management system designed to keep roads in Kent, including the M20, flowing in the event of a No-Deal Brexit. However, the potential for disruptions on the scale the letter suggests should be noted by exporters and importers in the UK, particularly those with time sensitive trading needs.

To read the full BBC article, go to www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54260470

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