Home   Dover   News   Article

Wrong Brexit deal could affect jobs and economy in Dover, says shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner

The wrong Brexit deal could make a "huge mess-up" of jobs and the economy in Dover.

That was the warning of the shadow international trade secretary when he visited the port and town.

Barry Gardiner said the entire country relied on Dover because of the amount of trade coming through.

He told the East Kent Mercury: "We have to deliver Brexit but we have to deliver a Brexit that protects our economy and protects jobs.

"Particularly here in Dover you know the logistics.

"The very tight time schedules that all the movements in and out of this port that happen every day means that you've got to get it right

"Brexit has the capacy if it's done wrongly, to make a huge mess-up of people's jobs and the economy locally.

"We don't want to see stacking back on the A2. We don't want to see the Brock operation.

"We need to have a deal that is working for both sides of the Channel, that is, yes, us leaving the European Union but doing in a way that protects jobs and the economy."

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner at Shakespeare Beach, Dover
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner at Shakespeare Beach, Dover

The Labour politician visited places such as Shakespeare Beach, just outside the western end of Dover Harbour last Thursday.

He was also on that beach the day after Lewis Pugh arrived there to finish his record 329-mile swim along the length of the English Channel.

Mr Gardiner added: "It's important to talk to the port authority to see what it is they are going to have to cope with when we finally know the shape of the Brexit deal.

"So much of our trade comes through Dover and we rely as a country on what you do here.

"So it's important that everybody understands just the potential damage to our whole economy if we don't get brexit right.

"We've got to do Brexit but we've got to get it right.

"And that means not a no-deal Brexit."

The Banksy mural, local symbol of Brexit, in central Dover
The Banksy mural, local symbol of Brexit, in central Dover

There are in particular fears of long lorry tailbacks from Dover if there is no adequate customs arrangement after Britain leaves the EU next march.

The cross-Channel party group EU.Thinking Dover+Deal has reported predictions, based on university research, of lorries queuing all the way back to Ashford if there is just one extra minute of customs checks per lorry.

It is feared that the tailbacks would go back to Maidstone if it is two extra minutes.

Operation Brock, proposed by the Department for Transport, is a new version of Operation Stack to avert post-Brexit gridlock.

It involves using a contra-flow along a stretch of the M20 if there is disruption at the ports of Dover or Calais, or Eurotunnel.

British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has said that he is still optimistic about a deal after talks in Brussels, the BBC has reported.

He had met EU negotiator Michel Barnier today.

Mr Barnier revealed that sticking points were being gradually removed with particular progress in areas such as security and judicial and defence co-operation.

The UK and the EU are hoping to agree a deal and a statement of future trading relations at a summit of European leaders on October 17.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More