Operation Brock in Kent is being retained as an emergency measure that could be rolled out in the future, after the government removed “sunset clauses” from the legislation.

The traffic management measure, designed to cope with queues of thousands of HGVs on the M20, was meant to end by October.

It was originally introduced to deal with disruption caused by Brexit, amid fears that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU could lead to disruption for cross-Channel trade.

It was recently reinstated due to predictions of high levels of holiday traffic, but was soon abandoned when these fears proved unfounded, prompting MP Damian Green to criticise its use based solely on “worries”.

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However, the expiration date for its use has now been removed by Ministers, meaning it could be relied on again in the future to minimise traffic congestion in Kent.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Operation Brock measures will remain temporary and will only be used when there is a significant risk of delays.

“While Operation Brock was originally created to deal with disruption caused by EU Exit and in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, removing the sunset clauses from Operation Brock will mean the Kent Resilience Forum is better prepared to respond to any type of traffic disruption in the area, not solely related to EU Exit, including strikes and severe weather.”