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‘No-deal Brexit will not stop freight reaching the islands’

News | Published:

CONDOR is confident that it can overcome the challenges of Brexit and keep freight coming into the island.

(Picture By Steve Sarre, 20316451)

Fears about hold-ups to food, medicines and other items destined for Guernsey from the UK have led to some local supermarkets considering stockpiling what they can, while they have held talks with suppliers about the situation.

A Condor spokesman said they had been holding talks on the implications.

‘We have been working for some time with the UK, Channel Islands’ and French authorities on the implications of Brexit and through our involvement with the UK Chamber of Shipping’s working party,’ he said.

‘Condor is in a unique position in comparison with UK companies as we already make full Customs declarations for freight transported between the islands and the UK, vice versa and to St Malo. This includes working closely with Guernsey Customs & Excise so Condor is currently 85% of the way to full compliance.

‘Whilst there is work still to be done and challenges to overcome, we believe these are achievable and so remain confident that trading relationships will continue.’

Four UK councils have written to Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling expressing their concerns over the potential delays that could be caused at ports by a no-deal Brexit.

A report from Portsmouth City Council said that at a briefing for politicians from across the southern region, concerns were aired about the knock-on effect for goods travelling to the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands.

Portsmouth International Port moves up to 500 lorries a day abroad. If traffic diverts from other ports this will increase significantly.

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Under a no-deal Brexit delays are likely if lorries need extra Customs clearance before embarking. This is not required currently for vehicles travelling to EU countries.

The distance between the freight check-in desk at Portsmouth International Port and the beginning of the motorway is just 13 lorry lengths, so a queue of 14 lorries or more would mean queuing traffic on the motorway.

MPs and council leaders have also received a briefing on the latest contingency plans being developed by the area’s Local Resilience Forum (LRF) which is made up of a range of organisations including councils and emergency services.

Any delays to vessels leaving European ports may also have a similar effect with congestion from vehicles waiting to board late ships. To mitigate this the LRF is trying to find locations to hold lorries and avoid traffic problems.

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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