Britain’s government sent a convoy of 87 trucks on a test-run from a little-used airport to the country’s main trading gateway to continental Europe on Monday — a rehearsal for the upheaval of a no-deal Brexit that was mocked as a clumsy waste of money. Grace Jerome reports.
(Reuters) – This convoy of trucks is the latest visible warning about the potential upheaval of a no-deal Brexit.
They rolled out of a disused airfield towards Dover on England’s south coast on Monday morning.
To test how the road network and Europe’s busiest ferry port would cope with delays caused by new post-Brexit customs checks.
There’s less than three months to go until Britain officially leaves the EU.
And so far, Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to pass the divorce deal she agreed with the bloc’s leaders through Parliament
It’s a deal that the European Commission repeated again on Monday won’t be renegotiated, saying it’s the ‘only deal possible’.
Both pro and anti Brexit lawmakers have warned that leaving without a deal would cause major disruption, not least in the port of Dover.
Up to sixteen-thousand trucks a day pass between here and the French port of Calais every day, carrying everything from food to medicine to factory supplies.
That’s significantly more than this convoy of 87 trucks. The town’s MP, who supported the Remain campaign in the referendum, says the test is on ‘far too small a scale’…
DOVER MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CHARLIE ELPHICKE:
“We also need to be asking, are there other places in the countries where lorries can be looked after and stored, and is there a system where one can say to factories around the country: don’t dispatch your lorries except on a timetabled basis.”
More than 200 lawmakers have now signed a letter to the Prime Minister to rule out a ‘no deal’ scenario
She herself has warned the UK will be in ‘uncharted territory’ if her deal’s rejected.
May has already postponed a vote on it once – when it looked almost certain she would lose.
With MPs now expected to vote on the 15th, Mrs May has little more than a week to convince them.