Kent County Council is calling on the government to give police emergency powers to control the flow of freight around the Channel ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The council wants the enhanced police powers to kick in if the DfT is forced to activate Operation Brock, its contingency plan to deal with the traffic congestion that could occur around the Channel ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The plan would see HGVs directed to temporary parking areas on the M20, at the disused Manston Airport in Kent and on the M26.

Council leader Paul Carter said he has written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to ask that police powers be boosted so that they can “co-ordinate the flow and activity” of freight during Operation Brock.

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Carter said: “That is something the police don’t have at the moment unless there is a state of emergency declared.

"Hopefully it will not be that serious but the police need more powers to direct the traffic flow which has caused so many problems in the past when Operation Stack has been activated.”

FTA head of UK policy Chris Snelling rejected Carter’s proposal this week.

He said: “We do not see the need for that - but what the police and Highways England will need is far more resources in terms of staff to make such a big operation work, particularly if Operation Brock is to be extended to the M26."

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