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Old 24th Oct 2018, 07:32
  #16276 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,693
Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
So....any thoughts on what came out of cabinet last night, e.g. vague plans that the government might have to requisition ships in the event of a hard Brexit? Or is the preferred option here to carry on arguing until or beyond the end of March about the number of people who were at an event in London?
Yes, I've been thinking about this since I saw the report last night, and frankly, the sheer ignorance of how road freight works, and the issues surrounding a no-deal chaotic departure from the EU on 29.03.19 are breathtaking.

It is suggested that haulier move their trucks away from Calais / Dunkirk to Belgium or The Netherlands. Well as HMG clearly doesn't understand, perhaps they need to be informed by the ferry operators that link spans at ports are largely tailored to the ships that use them. The mega ferries that use Calais (and Dover) simply won't fit the link spans at ports like Ostende or Zeebrugge, so moving the ships will be nigh on impossible. There may be capacity available on routes like Hoek van Holland to Harwich, or Rotterdam to Felixstowe or Hull but the capacity will in now way mitigate possible delays at Calais. And how Eurotunnel are supposed to shift their operation from Coquelles I simply fail to understand.

However, all this is a side show. Presently trucks move across EU borders without manifests being lodged with authorities, and without any transit documentation. It would have been possible for the UK to use the Community Transit system, were it to have been part of the EEA, but we've got a red line for that. So the fall back is some sort of carnet system - the same as, for example, a Belloruss truck would use to enter and leave the EU, with more paperwork, cost and administrative delays. And, once out of the EU trucks will probably need driving permits for some states. None of this appears to have been addressed, and given the time that it takes to implement new customs systems just won't be ready for March 2019.

Then, of course there's customs clearance in UK, which may very probably be the least of our problems.

MPs objecting to Mrs. May's (flawed) plans need to wake up to reality and accept that if they really want Brexit, then there are going to be some very sour pills to swallow (such as the extended transitional period) whilst the nuts and bolts of trade are resolved; similarly some very sour pills for someone (probably the DUP) are going to have to be swallowed to avoid the dreaded hard border. I fear that MPs and politicians in general are too out of touch with reality, and mired in dogma to avoid catastrophe.
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