Published: 11:26, 01 August 2019
| Updated: 11:27, 01 August 2019
The government has announced plans to spend hundreds of millions of pounds “turbo charging” preparations to deal with a no deal Brexit.
Kent is in line to get more money for contingency plans under Operation Brock to help ensure key roads and motorways are not gridlocked if the UK cannot agree terms of its departure from the EU.
There will also be more money for Channel ports to help them gear up for the possibility of delays checking lorries at customs.
But the news of a cash injection has been criticised by opposition parties.
Under the plans, Chancellor Sajid Javid has doubled Brexit funding for this year, announcing £2.1 billion to prepare for no deal.
There will be a new immediate cash boost of £1.1 billion to prepare critical areas for EU exit on October 31.
A further £1 billion is being set aside “to enhance operational preparedness this year if needed.”
Kent will get a slice of £344m being allocated by the Treasury to limit delays and disruption with additional funding for ‘Operation Brock’ and more money to improve capacity at Channel ports. Money will also go towards recruiting 500 additional border officials.
Another £38m will be given to local councils for their own public relations exercises.
Chancellor Sajid Javid said: “With 92 days until the UK leaves the European Union it’s vital that we intensify our planning to ensure we are ready.
“We want to get a good deal that abolishes the anti-democratic backstop. But if we can’t get a good deal, we’ll have to leave without one. This additional £2.1 billion will ensure we are ready to leave on October 31 - deal or no deal.”
But John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said: “This government could have ruled out no deal, and spent these billions on our schools, hospitals, and people.”
More by this authorPaul Francis