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POST-BREXIT BORDER CHECKS TRIAL LEADS TO 5-MILE QUEUES

Lorries making their way across the English Channel have found themselves in five-mile queues on the motorway in Kent, as a new trial of post-Brexit border checks gets underway.

 

According to the Guardian, the Police Aux Frontieres have been rehearsing new immigration procedures, with French authorities carrying out immigration checks at the UK side of the tunnel and port, in line with the Le Touquet agreement.

The controls in place require drivers to provide passports, as well as being questioned on proof of means, destinations and lengths of stay, a process that can take up to 70 seconds per passenger. From January, checks will also be carried out on food, drink and agricultural products and customs, going in both directions.

The UK government has said, however, that these checks will be introduced in phases on the British side, over the course of six weeks, in a bid to reduce the chances of roads being gridlocked.

And Kent County Council also has plans in place to double the number of trading standards officers from six to 12 in order to manage the flow of checks.

A Highways England spokesman explained that they had been informed the delay was caused by new software being piloted, with the trial now over and traffic flee flowing within the port once again.

The Brexit transition ends this year, with new rules and regulations coming into force on January 1st 2021. At the beginning of October, the government published its updated Border Operating Model, providing further detail on how the border will work and covering the actions that traders, hauliers and passengers will have to take.

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