Johnson's government has announced plans for up to 10 inland sites including in Birmingham, Warrington and at a former airfield near Epping Forest in Essex to cope with congestion and border checks that would be caused due to Brexit.
The inland border sites are being acquired to relieve ports including at Dover and Liverpool and could be in place for up to two years, according to one of the councils where the planning process for infrastructure has already begun.
Government’s border operating model details were disclosed and are part of the plan to avert congestion and queues of up to 7,000 trucks in Kent.
Michael Gove on Wednesday, admitted of the potential for chaos in Kent, “If things do go wrong, then to paraphrase Rag’n’Bone Man put the blame on me,” He said.
Passports will be mandatory in 2021 to make an entry in the UK once the transition period ends, National ID cards no longer will be acceptable.
The government document sets out new rules for border control and travelling to other EU member states. It also confirms that a “Kent access permit” will be needed by hauliers if they want to enter the country if they are heading for a ferry in Dover or a Eurotunnel train in Folkestone as part of congestion management.
The UK government also announced that it will be putting new infrastructure in place at Ebbsfleet international station in Kent, North Weald airfield in Essex and Warrington in the north-west.
Meanwhile, the second Ashford site that would be used for processes around transit including “passport for goods” checks. Moreover, two further sites are being considered primarily for the same processes in Thames Gateway and Birmingham. The Government also said additional potential sites could be put in place by July next year in Holyhead, Fishguard/Pembroke and Dover.
The report was welcomed by Industry leaders including the Road Haulage Association, which was criticized by Gove by saying it was not "constructive".
The government says it will be putting new infrastructure in place at Ebbsfleet international station in Kent, North Weald airfield in Essex and Warrington in the north-west.
The government had identified 29 areas last month for potential use for border infrastructure but has already stood some of these boroughs down. Medway Council in Kent said it had been notified by the government that land in its area would not be needed.
Anglesey council has already rejected an approach for a potential customs facility at an agricultural showground near Holyhead, the second busiest roll-on roll-off ferry port in the country. One executive at the council, Carwyn Jones, said: “They can’t sit in London and just look at Google Maps, and we can’t be strong-armed into accepting a site that isn’t appropriate.”
“HMRC is proposing to use and operate North Weald airfield as a common transit convention (CTC) site. This is not a lorry park, but a customs facility which enables exporters to defer paying duties when importing goods into Europe. We expect HMRC to engage stakeholders, including local residents, shortly as part of its planning application under special development order legislation. The site will operate alongside other inland border sites in Kent for up to two years,” said the Essex county council.
All the hauliers and businesses and particularly the estimated 145,000 companies that have never traded outside the EU will have to must-read the 138-page document. They will have to gain experience and be familiar with complicated processes including customs declarations on both imports and exports and sanitary and phytosanitary checks on both sides of the border.
Also to be put in place will be checked for endangered fauna and flora, which may take place away from ports such as Dover and Liverpool, where there is no capacity near the docks.
The UK government has confirmed that "it is the UK’s intention that EU, European Economic Area and Swiss citizens will not be required to obtain a visa", EU and EEA citizens will continue to be able to use electronic passport gates at airports.
The document reminds members of the public who want to travel to and from the EU with pets that the documentary requirements will change. If the EU accepts the UK as a “part 1 listed third country” the checks will be similar to now but the UK is urging pet owners to get necessary veterinary checks in place four months before travel as a contingency.
UK reveals plans for up to 10 inland border sites to cope with Brexit chaos https://t.co/DMuv6jZ3cn— Guardian politics (@GdnPolitics) October 8, 2020
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