Brexit will make it easier for stowaways to enter lorries bound for the UK at French ports, according to a Dutch trade association.

In a whitepaper explaining how shipping agents can be better prepared to deal with stowaways, Transport en Logistiek Nederland said it was concerned about the potential for an “extra stream of stowaways” at ports.

“Up to and including 31 December 2020, there will be no other customs procedures than there are now,” the paper explained.

“Over the course of 2020, the new rules will become clearer, but we can be sure that things will change.

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“For example, various customs procedures will be introduced, and these procedures will cause major delays in the ports.

“This will mean long queues outside of the gates of the ferry terminals, making it easier for stowaways to board lorries.”

The white paper added: “Companies that do business with the United Kingdom need to prepare for this.”

Susanne Dirksen, sales manager at Dutch haulage firm Schavemaker Logistics and Transport, said she was anxious about Brexit: “That will undoubtedly lead to traffic jams at the ferries, which will be a good opportunity for stowaways to make another attempt,” she said.