Cross-Channel freight could plunge by up to 87 per cent after Brexit

Cross-Channel freight could plunge by up to 87 per cent if UK exits Europe without a deal, says Border Force

  • A Border Force report on Brexit plans found the slump could last six months 
  • The report said France was likely to cause delays with tougher customs checks 
  • It comes amid warnings from several ministers over the dangers of ‘no deal’

Freight trade across the English Channel could plunge by between 75 and 87 per cent if Britain leaves the EU without a deal, the Border Force has warned.

And a business minister said No Deal would be ‘an absolute disaster’, adding that he feared both Jaguar and Mini could close their factories.

An internal Border Force report on no-deal contingency plans found the slump in trade could last six months, Sky News reported.

The report said France was likely to cause delays by imposing tougher customs checks.

The Border Force report warned carrying freight across the channel could be made much trickier in the event of no deal

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It said: ‘The reasonable worst case flow through the Short Straits is reduced to between 13 and 25 per cent of current capacity for a period of three to six months.’ 

This refers to the Dover to Calais route and the Channel Tunnel. 

The Border Force reckons that after the initial shock, the ‘new normal’ for cross-channel freight will be between 50 and 100 per cent of current flows.

Yesterday, in the most strident warning so far about a no-deal Brexit from a member of the Government, business minister Richard Harrington said he was most worried about the impact on the motor industry if Britain ‘crashes out’.

He told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I’ve seen what may well happen with this cut-off date, crashing out in my view… is an absolute disaster.

‘I’m not afraid of ‘no drugs’ etc. But I’m afraid of Jaguar closing, Mini closing, the life sciences industry closing.’

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