“Brexit will not cause port delays” claims Port of Calais Chief

Published: 11 January 2019

“Brexit will not cause port delays” claims Port of Calais Chief
The chief of the Port of Calais has thrown in his hat into the ring in regards to Brexit, following the Government’s recent prediction that Brexit will cause severe delays across the Channel on a daily basis and going so far as to hire out a fleet of lorries to simulate how this will look following March 29th.

His comments on the matter were: “We will not check the trucks more than we are doing today, with the migrants. We will only be asking of the drivers that they have their customs declarations, but we will not stop or ask more than we are doing today. It is very clear.” 

Speaking on the matter Mr Puissesseau also suggested the government using funds to invest in alternative ferry routes would only help Calais’s competitors for traffic across the Channel, with potential new links such as Ramsgate and the port of Ostend in Belgium.

Sharing his opinion, he said “I am very shocked, I consider it disrespectful to Calais and to Dover what has been decided by Mr Grayling and the British government.”

Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP said the Port of Calais Chief’s opinion represents “The reality, as opposed to Project Fear Mk III”.
 Chris Green, Bolton West MP quit a role he had as Transport Department aide following the protest of Brexit, gave his thoughts: “Looks like trade with EU business post-Brexit, will be fine so let’s stop with project fear.”
Leave voter and Conservative MP Marcus Fysh said the port’s comments: “Give the lie to remain ministers’ scaremongering”.

Chris Heaton-Harris, Brexit Minister stated his hopes are that traffic will remain at its current rate as Mr Puissesseau implied, adding a warning the European Commission could easily add extra precautions and checks while crossing the channel which would cause further delays.

 “I would like to think it would be as free flowing. But the European Commission can insist on extra checks at the border,” he said.

“We would expect there to be a tiny bit more of a check than the mayor of Calais said. But maybe he is privy to information because France can apply to the European Commission to waive checks.”

Despite the best efforts of both parties, the potential outcome seems all the more uncertain than ever, even for those across the channel who had hopes Brexit wouldn’t effect international trade and movement of goods. In the coming months Parliament and the European Commission will have to give the industry a solid answer and what to expect when approaching customs at Calais/Dover after March 29th.
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