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No Deal Travel Chaos Result of 'Economic Idiocy'

2 September 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has responded to Government analysis which shows there would be chaos in Dover in the event of No Deal Brexit describing it "deeply damaging" and the result of "economic idiocy."

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has responded to Government analysis which shows there would be chaos in Dover in the event of No Deal Brexit describing it “deeply damaging” and the result of “economic idiocy.”

Last month Cortes wrote to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps over the impact of an No Deal Brexit on the UK’s transport network.

Cortes raised questions with Shapps relating to the ‘level and manner of disruption the UK Government currently expects to see on Eurostar services and on rail freight services using Eurotunnel as a result of a No Deal Brexit.’

The latest analysis by the Department for Transport (DfT) shows there is likely to be delays of up to two days at Dover which could lead to shortages of goods on shelves and medical supplies in hospitals.

Manuel Cortes said: “I have yet to to receive a response from Grant Shapps to my letter, this shows that he and this Government are either in a state of utter panic or unwilling to face the reality of a No Deal Brexit on our transport sector.

“Delays at Dover, or to services on the Eurostar, Eurotunnel or anywhere else in and out of the country would be deeply damaging. This cannot be allowed to happen.

“Given that at the moment there are maximum delays at Dover of around two minutes, and no delays at St Pancras station – it's easy to see that we are dealing with a Government hell bent on a policy of economic idiocy.

“They think they can simply cross their fingers and hope everything will be alright. It’s not good enough and Mr Shapps must come to Parliament and tell the public what is going on.

“Sadly, however, it looks very much as though we have gone from Failing Grayling to Mishaps Shapps.”

This analysis, commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) suggests that:

On day one of a no-deal Brexit, the worst case scenario would be a two-day maximum delay for freight and vehicles at Dover and an average wait of one-and-a-half days.

That could amount to a pile-up of up to 8,000 vehicles.

Even with a best case scenario, with businesses as prepared as they possibly could be, vehicles will be waiting for two to three hours, with 50% of vehicles waiting for at least eight.

The report also says that many haulage companies, faced with lengthy new processing periods, will simply cancel their vehicles' journeys (and with them their cargo) because of long waiting times.

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