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WATCH: Port of Dover warns of 17-mile queues on both sides of Channel post-Brexit in video at Conservative conference

PUBLISHED: 13:30 03 October 2017

Operation Stack

Operation Stack

2008 Getty Images

It comes after councils across Kent wrote to David Davis, urging him to make upgrading border controls a Brexit priority

Queues of lorries will stretch back some 17 miles across Kent’s roads if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, the Port of Dover has claimed.

Ever since the Brexit vote last June, fears have grown over the potential congestion that could be seen around the county if greater regulation and enforcement measures are imposed.

Indeed, a recent report by consultancy firm, Oxera warned Kent could become gridlocked by an “almost-permanent instigation of Operation Stack”, while Dover MP Charlie Elphicke has repeatedly said the 14-hour queues experienced in his consituency last summer would be “a tea party” compared to what will happen if Britain is not fully prepared for leaving the EU.

During an event at the Conservative party conference this week, a video by the Port of Dover was shown to members, explaining how thousands of lorries are processed through the port in under two minutes each.

A spokesperson said: “After Brexit, the UK will no longer be a part of Transit [the internationally-recognised passport for road-hauled goods].

“This means all trade will then be moving between a non-EU terriory - the UK - and the EU.

“Even if it took just an extra two minutes to process a lorry, it would cause queues of over 17 miles at Dover and there would be similar chaos in Calais and Dunquerque, with the ports in regular gridlock.”

Earlier this week, the leaders of South East England Councils (SEEC) and the South East Strategic Partnership for Migration (SESPM) wrote a joint letter to the Brexit secretary, David Davis, urging him to make upgrading Kent’s border controls a clear priority.

The letter calls for juxtaposed border controls at Dover and Calais to remain in place, and the government is asked to pursue agreement on the future inspections required for food imported from the EU “as a matter of urgency”.

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