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Brexit: Extra £2.1 billion pledged to help UK prepare for no-deal Brexit

A Kent MP has defended government plans to spend £2 billion preparing for a no-deal Brexit as it emerged that Kent is to get an additional £20 million to help manage Operation Brock.

Tonbridge and Malling representative Tom Tugendhat described the allocation of the additional money as fantastic news amid criticism Boris Johnstone has authorised unnecessary spending preparing for events that may not happen.

The Chancellor Sajid Javid said he was making extra money available to turbo charge preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

Gridlock fears for Kent despite no-deal contingency plans unveiled

Treasury officials say it would make £20m available to cover some of the costs of managing Operation Brock, the scheme designed to keep traffic moving along the M20 in both directions.

The MP said: "This is fantastic news for Kent. This is a huge investment.

"I don't think this is a waste of money - it is going to help prepare Kent.

£20 million has been made available for Operation Brock
£20 million has been made available for Operation Brock

"It is not just about HGVs using Kent's motorways; it is about whole communities.

"The closure of a motorway will have huge implications for people; like getting children to school or getting to doctor's appointments. This is a massively important area.

"We need to make sure that we are ready because it is not just about Kent getting ready; frankly if Kent is not ready, the UK is closed."

Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal, said the huge investment sent a signal to the EU that the government was serious about leaving.

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat
Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat

"This investment is a sensible precaution - and means European leaders know we are serious about leaving the EU, deal or no deal.," he said.

"As well extra border officers, customs agents will get double the amount to invest in new staff and better IT systems."

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