During the EU summit last Wednesday, Theresa May, British Prime Minister gave a speech reassuring the EU 27 that she was “confident of a good outcome” to the process. This, however, seems unlikely, taking into account that another round of Brexit negotiations planned for November was canceled due to lack of progress, reports the CNN. Both the EU and the UK are increasingly preparing for the “no-deal” Brexit.
Quite telling is the fact, that Jean Claude Jucker, the president of the European Commission presented the current state of preparations in case the agreement is not reached in the nearest future. Although no specific timeline has been given, it is clear that the time is running. The president of the EU Commission urged the officials to speed up preparations for no deal Brexit.
The commission we asked tonight to work with even more vigour on the no-deal scenario, not that we expect, but we have to stand prepared,” said the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as reported by CNN.
No deal outcome would bring a lot of chaos because there are hundreds of agreements that currently govern the trade, transportation and virtually all other sectors of the economy. If all of them become invalid overnight, the supply chains will be severely disrupted.
Business does not like uncertainty
The British economy is already suffering the consequences of Brexit before it even happened, reports CNN. EasyJet already established new headquarters in Europe mainland. Similarly, American banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are also leaving the UK. According to UBS estimates, the British economy is already 2 percent smaller compared to what it could have been if Brexit wasn’t looming over the country’s future.
Road Haulage Association (RHA) policy and public affairs head, Rod McKenzie, is also sounding the alarm.
No deal – no transition will be an absolute disaster says @RHARichardB #RHANIConf no time to prepare – @RHANews calling for transition period whether deal or no deal to avoid supply chain disaster pic.twitter.com/RMayEt7zSg
— Rod McKenzie (@RHARodMcKenzie) October 18, 2018
Large corporations based in the United Kingdom warn against the threats that will result from the tightening of border controls. Among them is the clothing chain Next and car manufacturers such as Honda and Jaguar Land Rover. All these companies depend on thousands of parts that come to the Islands from the European Union every day.
Jaguar Land Rover has already shortened staffing time. In turn, Honda warns that the lack of agreement with EU countries will cause a huge increase in bureaucracy – up to 60,000 additional documents related to export and import from Great Britain. The company estimates that the costs resulting from this additional bureaucracy will reach tens of millions of pounds.
For fear of delays at the border and shortages of goods, almost 25 percent of British companies plan to stockpile goods and 4 percent already started doing it.
The UK prepares the channel ports for Brexit
The preperations for Operation Brock began already last week with overnight closure of M26, reports MotorTransport.co.uk. British transport organizations are protesting the closures and especially a lack of notice ahead of the works which could allow for contingency planning.
We would expect to get at least two weeks’ notice so our members can plan around the works. We’ve had no good explanation from the DfT or from Highways England as to why we were not informed earlier. The logistics industry needs to know in advance when such a significant piece of the network is to be closed. This is immensely disruptive to our members,” comments FTA head of UK policy Chris Snelling for MotorTransport.co.uk.
Although M26 was not taken into account in the first place when planning the Operation Brock, it seems now that the Government is preparing to include it. Representatives of the transport sector are strongly criticizing the move and complain that they have not been consulted in this matter.
This decision is baffling and indicates a government in complete chaos. The extent of the contingency planning is clear evidence that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for the UK supply chain,” said the RHA policy and public affairs head Rod McKenzie for MotorTransport.co.uk.
Highways England informed that from 19 November until 21 December the M26 will be closed overnight to allow the installation of gates.
Operation Brock involves the introduction of a contraflow system along the whole stretch of coastline on the M20 and M26 motorway. The authorities also plan to use the unused Manston Airport in Kent for a lorry park.
In case of the motorways, the southbound carriageway will be used by heavy goods vehicles queuing to cross the canal. In turn, the northbound carriageway would be available for other vehicles. In this way, the government wants to reduce traffic on smaller local roads.
Kent County wants police to control the freight traffic
If Operation Brock needs to be launched in the event of no deal Brexit outcome, hundreds of trucks might be queueing up to get to the channel ports. Kent County is asking the Government to give the police emergency powers to control the flow of traffic.
The police officers would direct the trucks to the parking lots on M20 and the Manston Airport in Kent.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Ilovetheeu/CC BY-SA 4.0