Opinion Former Video

Port of Dover – driving trade and prosperity

The Port of Dover plays a critical role in the trading relationship between the UK and Europe – its largest trading partner.

And it will continue to do so, even after the UK leaves the European Union.

The port handles up to £122bn, or €136bn, of trade every year. With as many as 10,000 lorries passing through a day.

There is no other port that can handle the type and volume of traffic that Dover does.

Typically, a lorry is processed in approximately two minutes.

This smooth flow of traffic is made possible by the absence of customs clearance in the port of EU goods.

And, on goods from elsewhere, by Transit. Transit is an internationally-recognised passport for road-hauled goods.

The EU is a member as well as non-EU states such as Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. It enables lorries and their goods to cross land boundaries and pass through ferry ports with the bare minimum of customs involvement.

After Brexit, the UK will no longer be a part of Transit.

This means all trade will then be moving between a non-EU territory – the UK – and the EU.

Even if it took just an extra two minutes to process a lorry…

It would cause queues of over 17 miles at Dover.

And there would be similar chaos in Calais and Dunkerque, with the ports in regular gridlock.

Operation Stack, a costly emergency traffic management procedure to queue lorries on the motorway in the UK during major cross-Channel disruption, may be needed around once a week.

The slowed movement of goods wouldn’t just impact ports, it would impact the whole supply chain.

Causing major disruption to European and UK trade.

The Republic of Ireland is calling for the UK to remain in Transit so it can continue to trade with the rest of the EU.

The UK must be a member of the Common Transit Convention.

It will keep goods moving through the Port of Dover.

Which will keep the Republic of Ireland, the UK and Europe trading with each other. 

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