Drivers could face queues of up to 15 miles at the Port of Calais if border checks are introduced post-Brexit, which shows the UK and EU27 governments that frictionless trade is a necessity, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
The trade body also called on the government to take clear decisions on Brexit now to allow businesses to plan ahead for when Brexit occurs in March 2019.
The warning about potential long queues at Calais as a result of border checks came from the Deputy Mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme earlier this month.
FTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, James Hookham said this, once again, proves the necessity for frictionless trade with the EU: “FTA has been warning for some time of the potential risks of the introduction of border checks at Dover and the importance of doing everything possible to keep Britain trading. Now we can see there are similar concerns about gridlock on the French side of the border. The Government and our EU negotiating partners need to take these issues seriously and prioritise practical trade arrangements.
“FTA has written to the Prime Minister setting out the key objectives the UK must now place at the forefront of negotiations, in order to allow exporters and importers to continue working and avoid a catastrophic breakdown in this country’s trade with the EU.
“British logistics companies are the best in the world and they are on standby to do whatever is needed to make our new trading arrangements with the EU work successfully. I have no doubt they will find a way to keep the UK supplied with the goods everyone needs and to allow British firms to continue exporting, but at what cost? Now is the time for political speculation and idealism to end. We need clear decisions taken urgently, to keep Britain trading through the expected consequences of a tough Brexit.”