‘Brexit test’ with queuing trucks not very conclusive
The British Minister of Transport, Chris Grayling, wanted to see what a no-deal Brexit would cause on the road with huge delays expected at customs at the port of Dover. The ‘exercise’ wasn’t very conclusive and resulted in being a small – but well payed – excursion for some 90 heavy trucks.
In case of a hard Brexit, the (closed) Manston Airfield would be used as a temporary parking space for up to 6.000 trucks. From there they would go in convoy of 150 trucks to Dover. Grayling ordered an exercise to show Europe that Britain is ready for a no-deal.
In fact the Dover-Calais link is very important. 17% of British trade passes here and every day 7.000 trucks cross the channel. Apparently Grayling has suddenly realized how important this is and organized a test.
Unfortunately, only 89 trucks of the 150 foreseen showed up (despite the fact that they received 500 euro for joining in), traffic dispatchers were disputing and because the Ministry of Transport had announced the test, road users avoided the motorway and the surroundings so that the streets were even quieter than normal.
Money thrown away
‘Remainers’ – the ones opposing a Brexit – under the politicians talk about money thrown away “This traffic-jam exercise must have been the most useless posing this government has ever shown”, said MP, Tom Drake.
According to the British association for road transport, this was an entirely cosmetic operation. Brexiteer Boris Johnson says that the government is unnecessarily scaring people. He trusts the ‘instinct’ of the British in distinguishing facts from nonsense.
A participant of the exercise drives home. On the trailer you can read the slogan “Don’t worry, be happy”. Britain remains confident that all will go well, even in the event that there is no deal.