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Boris Johnson promises to keep Kent moving if there is a no deal Brexit

By Paul Francis

The Prime Minister says he will do what he can to ensure Kent is not gridlocked in the event of a no deal Brexit.

In his first appearance in the Commons as PM, Boris Johnson was tackled on the issue by the Faversham and Mid Kent MP Helen Whately, who said: “As a Kent MP, can I ask him to make sure that those preparations will keep freight moving through Kent’s ports?”

The Prime Minister replied that measures were in hand and acknowledged the significance of the county in keeping traffic moving in the event of delays and disruption.

Helen Whately questioned Boris Johnson in the Commons

He said: “It is vital that we give businesses in Kent and hauliers of all kinds the logistical support they need and a huge amount of work is being done.”

The commitment will be welcomed by hauliers but there remains deep-seated opposition to the decision to maintain a contra-flow along a stretch of the M20 between Ashford and Maidstone.

The London-bound stretch of motorway has seen a spate of accidents in recent weeks. A collision yesterday led to tailbacks of more than six miles and earlier in the week, the closure of the M2 led to lengthy delays as traffic was re-routed.

Operation Brock in place on M20 between junctions 8 and 9
Operation Brock in place on M20 between junctions 8 and 9

On a visit to Dover last month, the Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay defended the decision to keep the contra-flow despite the fact Operation Brock was not in place.

He said: "I appreciate people's frustrations but it is important that we have a system in place that we can scale back up as and when it is needed.

"The best way to avoid disruption is to have a deal which allows us to leave in an orderly fashion.But if we were to leave without a deal it is important that we have resilience plans in place."

How is Brexit going to affect Kent? For all the latest news, views and analysis visit our dedicated page here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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