Kent gets new Brexit treat amid accusations that the govt is “taking the p*ss”

Portable toilets could be installed alongside roads in Kent in case lorry drivers get stuck in congestion following the end of the Brexit transition period, the Government has said. Transport Minister Rachel Maclean told the Transport Select Committee there are plans for the toilets and sanitary facilities to be installed in Kent and other parts of the country which might be hit by transport delays. She said: “We have detailed plans that we’ve worked up for provision of not only Portaloos but other facilities for drivers, and not only in Kent, should it be necessary, should there be stationary traffic, but also in a range of other areas throughout the country, because we really want to minimise the impact on those drivers who are already working really hard.”

De facto internal border

The government was roundly mocked in September after it was revealed that its promise to “take back control of our borders” actually means just putting a new border up in Kent.

Michael Gove announced that a ‘Kent-access permit’ would be put in place to prevent blocks at the Channel after Brexit. Responding to a question from Conservative former minister and MP for Ashford, Damian Green over Brexit preparations at the border, he said: “That system has been developed, it’s being shared with businesses and we want to make sure that people use a relatively simple process in order to get what will become known as a “Kent-access permit”, which means that they can then proceed smoothly through Kent.”

“The idiot haulier”

Hauliers reacted angrily after the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster warned of 7,000-truck-long queues in Kent if they fail to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period.

They accused Gove, who is responsible for no-deal planning, of attempting to “shift blame” for the possible impact of no trade deal being agreed with the EU. In the document sent to logistics associations, which has been seen by the PA news agency, Mr Gove outlines a worst-case scenario in which between 30-50 per cent of trucks crossing the Channel will not be ready for new regulations coming into force on January 1. Rob Hollyman, director of Essex-based haulage firm Young’s Transportation and Logistics, said this was “quite a clever statement” because it could lead people to blame “the idiot haulier”.

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