The British government is going to wargame the impact of leaving the European Union on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on Monday, chartering dozens of articulated lorries to simulate the impact of traffic near the port of Dover.
After years of ignoring the possibility of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union fully and without a deal keeping it tied to the rules and regulations of the bloc, the British government is now apparently rushing to make preparations.
One of these is a trial by the Department of Transport to examine using the former Manston airport in Kent as a lorry park in case of congestion around the Port of Dover, one of the main points of cross-Channel traffic with Europe.
An email from the Department for Transport send to Cliffsend Parish Council reported by Kent Online said of the test: “The use of Manston airfield as an HGV holding facility is one of the traffic management measures as part of the current draft plan to alleviate congestion on Kent roads in the event of any disruption at the border.
The plan is a variant of Kent Police’s Operation Stack, which uses the M20 as a giant lorry park while leaving one lane open for other traffic in the case of the Port of Dover being closed to traffic. It was activated dozens of times in 2015 when industrial action and illegal migrants congregating at the Port of Calais — from which much of Dover’s traffic flows from and to — effectively halted the flow of ships and Eurotunnel freight trains.
‘Second Dover’: UK Prepares Port in No Deal Brexit Plans Boost
A ferry company began dredging Ramsgate habour to take over thousands of lorry shipments from Dover in preparation for a no deal Brexit.
As well as managing traffic in Kent to prepare for a potential resumption of border checks on trucks, the government has also handed out a number of contracts to reopen ferry routes to other ports, many of which have seen their services closed in recent years. One of those is Ramsgate, which is now being dredged to take ships carrying 3,000 lorries a day after Brexit.
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