UK government to erect de facto internal border around Kent

UK government to erect de facto internal border around Kent

The “border” that will be created around the English county is part of the government’s Brexit preparations

Over the last couple of months, as the UK-EU transition period following Brexit draws to a close, British authorities have ramped up their preparations for the aftermath of leaving all (or at least most) EU structures.

As TheMayor.EU reported earlier this month, national authorities already granted themselves the power to build lorry parks without the consent of local governments. Now, the latest way that №10 plans to deal with possible congestions at the UK-EU border is to create a brand-new border within its own territory – namely around the county of Kent, where most vehicles carryings goods meant for mainland Europe converge.

Borderline problematic

Designs for a de facto borders between the UK and the county of Kent were revealed yesterday 23 September as Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the one responsible for preparations for the country’s exit from the EU addressed the House of Commons and explained some of the ways that the government will address problems at the border.

According to Gove, a “reasonable worst-case scenario” would see queues of up to 7000 lorry trucks congesting at the EU-UK border, assuming that many businesses would not have completed the paperwork necessary to transport goods into mainland Europe. Government estimates suggest that only between 30% and 60% of trucks will be eligible for entry into France while the rest would be turned around and sent bank into the UK – thus creating massive congestions.

What the government will do to address that, on top of building lorry parks, is to issue the so-called “Kent access permit” to those who have completed the necessary paperwork for travel into the EU. Those without such a permit would be barred from entering Kent, effectively creating a border separating it from the rest of the UK. In order to enforce these rules, the Kent police force will be tasked with screening those who attempt to enter the county.

The irony of the UK’s Brexit negotiators doing everything in their power to avoid a border separating the island of Britain and the island of Ireland only to then create one on the mainland has not been lost to MPs and those involved in the Brexit process on both sides.



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