UK Chamber welcomes 'ambitious' report on post-Brexit Dover

This week Dover MP Charlie Elphicke published his proposals for Government action to mitigate any difficulties arising from Brexit at the Port of Dover.  His manifesto set out a number of key actions.

1. Resilient Roads to the Channel Ports. The new Thames Crossing taken forward at speed, the M2/A2 upgraded and dualled all the way to the Channel Ports and the planned M20 Lorry Park to be delivered on time.

2. Open for Business with systems ready on day one to ensure that customs controls are handled seamlessly, with long queues avoided and technology used to speed customs processing.

3. A New Entente Cordiale to extend the Le Touquet Treaty to cover customs cooperation and build a new era of deeper co-operation with France.

4. A Brexit Infrastructure Bill. It takes years to build the simplest road. Yet we have less than two years to get ready. A powerful new law to speed through administrative processes would enable vital projects to be delivered on time.

5. One Government at the border to ensure order. There is a mind boggling array of ministries, quangos and agencies with border responsibilities. There should be a single ministry where the buck stops. This will avoid muddle and confusion that would otherwise undermine our ability to be ready on day one

Read the whole report here.

Guy Platten, UK Chamber of Shipping CEO said:

“This a welcome and ambitious report, which rightly reminds the Government and the public that the country’s future is not entirely beholden to the Brexit negotiating table.

“If Government can make the political choice to leave the Customs Union, then  it can make the political choice to invest heavily in our national infrastructure to ensure we are ready from day one.  The ideas contained within this report can help ease the UK into its new future, but the clock is ticking and there is no time to wait.

“Dover is a national trading hub of fundamental importance to the UK economy, any harm done to its ability to move trade will harm the national economy.  But we must not forget, Ports such as Calais, Zeebrugge, Dublin and others rely on trade with the UK, and any harm done to them will harm the EU economy too.

“There can, ultimately, be a technological, as well as political solution to the problems ahead, particularly on reducing the length of time customs reporting and checks will take.  Ultimately, if Singapore can fulfill its customs obligations with the EU in a mere ten seconds, then there is no reason why we can’t."