Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Ciaran The Van Driver Reveals Brexit Customs Dress Rehearsal "Farce"
7 January 2019, 14:11
Today's dress rehearsal for the UK's customs plans in case of no-Brexit was supposed to have 150 trucks. What they actually got was 88 trucks and a bin lorry.
The government organised the drill to test whether Manston Airport, a disused airport in Kent, could be used as a lorry park in the event that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.
Ciaran, who runs his own just-in-time courier company, is an expert in customs procedures both in and out of the European Union as he transports goods between countries on a daily basis.
And he told James O'Brien that the drill was a farce.
He said: "Your report said there were 89 lorries, but there were actually 88. Do you know what the other one was? It was a bin lorry.
"You have to laugh or cry at the absolute farce that unfolded this morning.
"I've been talking to a truck driver, drinking coffee on a disused airstrip. He said there were 88 trucks and a bin lorry which he saw. They were releasing them in batches of 25, going down to the docks. That's three batches. It was over before we blinked.
"On average 6,000 trucks a day will be coming into Dover or Folkestone and stopping to clear their customs paperwork and will be meeting the trucks going out who are collecting their papers. You're going to have two hotspots of trucks."
The government has started dredging at Ramsgate to make it a functional port following Brexit, but Ciaran suggested that would not be much help.
He added: "Ramsgate has no customs. So all the trucks would have to go to the same two places - Dover or Folkestone.
"And it takes five years to train one customs agent."