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UK Says No-deal Brexit Could See 7,000-truck Border Queues

European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier puts on his protective face mask prior to meeting with European Council President Charles Michel at the EU Council building in Brussels, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (Yves Herman, Pool via AP)

European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier puts on his protective face mask prior to meeting with European Council President Charles Michel at the EU Council building in Brussels, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (Yves Herman, Pool via AP)

The British government says there could be lines of 7,000 trucks at the English Channel and twoday waits to get into France immediately after the U.K. makes its economic break from the European Union at the end of the year.

LONDON: The British government says there could be lines of 7,000 trucks at the English Channel and two-day waits to get into France immediately after the U.K. makes its economic break from the European Union at the end of the year.

Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Brexit preparations, described that as a reasonable worst-case scenario in a letter to logistics firms. Hes due to give more details to Parliament on Wednesday.

The government letter says that between 30% and 50% of trucks wanting to cross the Channel may not be ready for new paperwork and regulations that will come into effect on Jan. 1.

This could lead to maximum queues of 7,000 port-bound trucks in Kent and associated maximum delays of up to two days, the document said.

The U.K. withdrew from the EUs political institutions on Jan. 31 but remains in a tariff-free transition period until the end of the year while negotiators try to work out a future trade relationship.

Even with a deal, Britain will be leaving the blocs single market and customs union, meaning some new checks and trade barriers. Without a deal there will be much greater disruption, with the U.K. and the EU having to slap tariffs on each others goods.

The two sides say a deal must be struck by October so it can be approved and ratified before Jan. 1. But negotiators remain at loggerheads on key issues, especially European fishing boats access to U.K. waters and competition rules for businesses.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier is due to hold talks with his British counterpart David Frost in London Wednesday ahead of a ninth formal round of negotiations next week.

The climate for the talks has been further chilled by British Prime Minister Boris Johnsons introduction of a bill that would give the U.K. the right to override parts of the legally binding withdrawal agreement it struck with the bloc less than a year ago.

That has infuriated the EU, which has threatened legal action if Britain does not reverse course by the end of September. Johnson shows no signs of dropping the bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament.

The legislation has also caused an uproar in Britain. Five former prime ministers have criticized Johnsons willingness to break international law, and the governments top legal civil servant and most senior law officer for Scotland have both resigned.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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