trucks queuing at Dover port

Labour has warned that failure to strike an agreement with the EU in time for Brexit in 2019 will see the South East of England grind to a halt as trucks are queued back from Dover.

With Port of Dover projections forecasting trucks passing through the port will increase by more than a third to 3.6 million a year by 2022, Labour believes there could be costly delays for the industry in the event of a no deal scenario.

Trucks travelling through Dover are currently processed in around two minutes. However, lorries could face delays of 45 minutes at the border if the UK crashes out of the EU without an agreement, Labour claimed.

These delays could cost freight companies nearly half a billion pounds each year (£495m) by the end of the Parliament based on FTA calculations that delays cost £3.20 per truck per minute.

Keir Starmer, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary, said: “It’s essential that any post-Brexit deal with the EU is good for the Port of Dover. That means an agreement which maintains frictionless trade and the swift transportation of goods between the UK and our European neighbours."

Last year 2,601,162 trucks passed through the port and 6% more are projected for 2018 (2,775,440). Dover is currently set up on the basis of keeping traffic into the port free flowing with limited space or provision for medium to long term parking in the event of delays.