James O'Brien's reaction to post-Brexit 'internal border in Kent'

17 September 2020, 12:41 | Updated: 23 September 2020, 14:52

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

With the Government confirming there will be a post-Brexit 'internal border in Kent, ' James O'Brien spoke to a transport expert on how it would impact the industry.

On Wednesday, September 23 Government Minister Michael Gove confirmed the scheme would be going ahead.

He told MPs: "That system has been developed, it's being shared with business and we want to make sure that people use a relatively simple process in order to get what will become known as a 'Kent-access permit', which means that they can then proceed smoothly through Kent."

Expressing sympathy for the satirists of the world LBC's James O'Brien said not only has Chris Grayling "been give a £100,000 a year job for a few hours work advising the owners of ports," also the coronavirus testing centre in Ebbsfleet in Kent is closing.

This is not due to a lack of demand but because transport bosses are looking at a series of measures as part of Operation Brock to prepare for possible disruption to cross-Channel trade when the Brexit transition period ends on December 31.

James was able to speak to expert guest Chris Yarsley, the Logistics UK Policy Manager for Road Infrastructure.

Chris told LBC new plans would see hauliers driving to the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel, Folkestone would be required to be in possession of a Kent Access Permit (KAP) or face a £300 fine.

He told James this could be enforced by existing number plate recognition cameras.

As an industry representative, Chris said he hoped there could be a certain level of leniency as to how the scheme is enforced.

The scheme has been branded as "an internal border" in the county of Kent which will add more red tape to the work commercial drivers will have to do.

It also comes at a time accessing Europe is set to become more difficult with enhanced customs requirements once the transition period ends.

Chris told James he hopes that the Government make any proposed scheme "very simple."

The industry representative told LBC that both Dover port and the Eurotunnel amount to around £200 billion of trade a year through just two Kent ports.

Dover is Britain’s main gateway to Europe, with up to 16,000 trucks a day passing through to the French port Calais at peak times, transporting everything from perishable food to medicines and industrial goods needed to keep factories running.

Watch the whole interesting and informative exchange in the video at the top of the page.