No deal Brexit: Major disruption at ports ‘a real prospect’, MP warn

No deal Brexit: Major disruption at ports ‘a real prospect’, MPs warn

There is a “real prospect” of major disruption at UK ports in the event of no-deal Brexit, MPs have warned. 
 
A Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report looking at the Department for Transport’s preparations for Brexit said there is a real risk that the DfT will not be ready in the event of the UK departing the EU without a negotiated deal, and the risk of major disruption at ports, was a “real prospect”.  
 
The PAC is concerned about the lack of detailed information provided to businesses to help them prepare and the use of nondisclosure agreements is “hampering businesses’ ability to plan ahead”.
 
“It is extremely worrying that we are seeing these same concerns again and again with little progress being made. Even if a deal is agreed, the Department faces a challenging workload during the proposed transition period,” the report stated.
 
The DfT is set to introduce Project Brock to manage traffic and lorry queuing at Dover for cross-Channel journeys and plans to do some desk-based testing, although it has yet to carry it out.
 
RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “This report confirms what so many members have told us. Information has been patchy, often unhelpful, confusing and generally too little, too late.
 
“This has left hauliers at the sharp end of a bad Brexit outcome, struggling to keep the supply chain operating and their firms in business.”
 
The DfT said the committee's conclusions were inaccurate and failed to reflect the evidence in the National Audit Office's report which found that the department has made a “determined effort in its preparations and achieved a great deal".
 
The NAO’s report also noted that although significant effort has been put into helping the Government’s negotiation, the timeframe needed to introduce the required legislation is "seriously compressed".