ENTERTAINMENT

Brexit: Drone photos show 27 acre field in Kent as workers turn it into a park for 1,700 trucks


Drone photos show a 27 acre field in Kent known as "Farage's Garage" that will be converted into a truck park for up to 2,000 trucks in the event of mass raids in Dover before the Brexit transition period in ends this year.

The development adjacent to Junction 10a in Ashford, Kent, is being built by the government to prepare for the conclusion of negotiations with the European Union in December.

After completion, the extensive site will be used for customs controls by the HMRC. An area that can accommodate up to 2,000 trucks should there be delays in vehicles crossing the canal.

However, it is hoped that vehicles will not need to be stored in the country and will be a customs inspection post by July.

29 truck parks are expected to be built across England to deal with the potential post-Brexit border trade chaos as hopes of a UK-EU free trade agreement are repeatedly dashed.

Locals will not have a say in the construction of the Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull, Kent, Essex, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire sites.

The locations were planned because it is feared that truck drivers will have long delays when entering the EU.

A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent where the government is developing the 27 acre site near the town

Drone photos show a 27 acre field in Kent known as "Farage & # 39; s Garage" which is being converted into a truck park for up to 2,000 trucks

Drone photos show a 27 acre field in Kent known as "Farage & # 39; s Garage" which is being converted into a truck park for up to 2,000 trucks

After completion, the location will be used for customs controls by the HMRC, with one area being available as a stopping place for 1,700 trucks

After completion, the site will be used for HMRC customs controls, with one area being available as a stopping place for 1,700 trucks

Locals have no say in the construction of the sites being built in Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull, Kent, Essex, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (picture, aerial view of site near Sevington in Ashford, Kent).

Locals have no say in the construction of the sites being built in Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull, Kent, Essex, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (Figure: aerial view of the site near Sevington in Ashford, Kent).

A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent where the government is developing the 27 acre site near the town

A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent where the government is developing the 27 acre site near the town

A petition and online campaign are currently calling for the Kent facility to be named after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage. Some suggest calling them "Nigel's Folly" while others recommend "Farage's Garage".

A petition and online campaign are currently calling for the Kent facility to be named after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage. Some suggest calling them "Nigel's Folly" while others recommend "Farage's Garage".

A petition and online campaign are currently calling for the Kent facility to be named after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage. Some suggest calling them "Nigel's Folly" while others recommend "Farage's Garage".

The French minister threatens to veto the Brexit trade deal if it doesn't protect "our interests", claiming Britain is BLUFFING because it is ready to leave without an agreement as talks resume in London

A senior French minister warned that the EU would not accept a trade deal if it did not protect "our interests" – claiming the UK would bluff when it came to abstaining from talks.

French European Minister Clement Beaune said all bets would be void if Britain "failed to move" in the face of an ongoing stalemate over fishing rights in British waters.

The issue has emerged as the final real stumbling block to a deal that was closed before the end of the transition period on December 31st.

Post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the European Union will resume in London on Friday as Michel Barnier said both sides had a "shared responsibility" to strike a deal.

The European Union negotiator continued talks with his UK counterpart, Lord Frost, as the deadline for an agreement is expiring.

Speaking to French television, Beaune said: “We thought the end of October would be the deadline. We are giving ourselves a few more days to give the negotiations a chance, but we need to know quickly.

Michel Barnier has a few days ahead of him where he will negotiate and then he will speak to us.

He will say to the EU27 Head of State or Government: "Here is a deal and I think it is a good one" – and then we have to evaluate it. Or: "I think the British have not shown enough movement to reach an agreement that protects our interests and then it is not a deal."

The Change.org petition, which has received thousands of signatures, states: "Everyone should really be able to call this diesel-soaked Valhalla Nigel's folly." "Mr Farage may not be able or unwilling to take part in the unveiling of this great honor we do him, but that should not prevent his name from being periodically posted all over the border fence. "

Although it is not clear whether construction has started on other sites, an existing parking lot in Gravesend that was used as a coronavirus test facility is to be converted into a customs checkpoint.

There are fears that after the Brexit transition period, the UK could leave the EU without a free trade agreement, which could result in significant delays in vehicles crossing the border.

It was previously alleged that a failure to close a Brexit deal by Boris Johnson's October deadline could mean up to 7,000 trucks would have to queue up before crossing the canal.

In July, it emerged that the Department of Transport wanted to buy the land in preparation for possible trade disruptions as a result of Brexit.

Transportation Secretary Rachel Maclean later confirmed the move, adding that the land had "two main uses".

She said: “First, government departments plan to use it as a permanent location for facilities related to future border processes, particularly HMRC (as a departure / arrival point for goods carried under transit arrangements) and Defra (as a border inspection post) for goods that require hygienic and phytosanitary controls).

"Second, the site can also be used as an emergency truck stop for the particular, foreseeable risk of major disruption at the end of the transition period."

Ms. Maclean added Downing Street has "no intention" to make the site a permanent truck stop in the event of a "cross-channel disruption".

The photos came amid news that toilets and food and drink facilities for hauliers will line the M20 in Kent in preparation for the 7,000 trucks that are expected to get stuck in static traffic on January 1st.

With the two-day queues expected to stall the industry when the EU puts full import controls in place for the UK early next year, industry executives have called for precautions to be taken for the benefit of drivers.

Richard Burnett, Chief Executive Officer of the Road Haulage Association, who will meet with Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office on Friday, said, “The devil is in the details, we need to understand, will there be Portaloos on the M20? Will we be able to bring water and food to the drivers?

"We want that clarity to come out of Friday's meeting to make sure the level of detail is taken into account."

The development adjacent to Junction 10a in Ashford, Kent, is being built by the government in preparation for concluding negotiations with the European Union in December

The development adjacent to Junction 10a in Ashford, Kent, is being built by the government in preparation for concluding negotiations with the European Union in December

Locals have no say in the construction of the sites being built in Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull, Kent, Essex, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (picture, aerial view of site near Sevington in Ashford, Kent).

Locals have no say in the construction of the sites being built in Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull, Kent, Essex, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (picture, aerial view of site near Sevington in Ashford, Kent).

A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent where the government is developing the 27 acre site near the town

A view of the area near Sevington in Ashford, Kent where the government is developing the 27 acre site near the town

Regarding the number of trucks expected to be stopped en route to UK ports, Burnett said, "The M20 will have 2,000 trucks, Mojo in Ashford, another location, 2,000 trucks and possibly 4,000 in Manston."

Richard Ballantyne, CEO of the British Ports Association, said the "risk" of queuing in ports after January 1 "does not need to be recognized if the government takes a pragmatic approach".

He added: “We are waiting for clarity on what support (facilities) drivers will have in these queues. This is not just about Kent, but institutions across the country.

"What will these facilities and infrastructures be for drivers queuing across the country – something we will be addressing on Friday."

Speaking on a transport preparatory committee for Brexit, Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, said: "It is absolutely important that we consider the well-being of drivers and hauliers as they are hardworking people we rely on Transportation industry for the delivery of critical goods and we need to consider their welfare.

"We have detailed plans for the provision of not only Portaloos, but also other facilities for drivers, not only in Kent when there is stationary traffic, but also elsewhere in the country."

Maclean said: & # 39; We are working in great detail with the Kent Resilience Forum. We will be using a combination of temporary trucking operations at the A20 Dover TAP (Traffic Assessment Project) location, M20 between Junction 8 and 9 and off-road locations, and sourcing more temporary truck stopping capacity in Ashford, Sevington the plan will do all of this incorporate into the use of these websites if this becomes necessary while Operation Brock is active. & # 39;

The committee also raised the issue of the stringent limits UK hauliers are likely to face if bilateral agreements with EU member states are not concluded or delayed in the event of a no-deal.

Toilets will line the M20 as part of Operation Brock.

Toilets will line the M20 as part of Operation Brock.

Industry leaders warned that up to 39,000 trucks in the UK could become unusable after Jan 1st due to the limited number of ECMT permits allowed.

Only 1 in 4 UK freight forwarders (or 2,000 out of 8,000 UK freight forwarders) receive an ECMT permit.

Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at Logistics UK said, "There is a planned glide path to mutual agreement – some assurance that there will be no sudden market failure in this area."

“The ECMT approval system gives very little security, so really important bilateral agreements have been made. Because only (2,000 out of 8,000 UK freight forwarders) one in four UK freight forwarders could get a permit and only travel one trip with that permit. & # 39;

If bilateral agreements are not reached, the limits of ECMT permits could put the UK at risk to its supply chain, Burnett said.

He added: “From my point of view, ECMT is not a solution if we don't get the right offer. It is also fair to say that bilateral agreements will take some time to negotiate with each Member State.

"This corresponds to around 39,000 trucks, a considerable gap for EU freight forwarders to get to Europe in the event of an ECMT."

During the committee, all three industry representatives suggested that they had not been given enough "clarity" to properly prepare for January 1st.

Mr. Burnett of the Road Haulage Association said, “At this point there is evidence that business is not prepared.

& # 39; The transportation industry works with their customers to make sure they are prepared. In a poll last week, 91 percent felt they didn't have the clarity needed to prepare.

"At this moment it is happening too slowly."

What is an ECMT permit?

The approval of the European Conference of Transport Ministers (ECMT) enables travel through the European Union (excluding Cyprus) and to the countries of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

& # 39; At the moment, more and more EU shippers are holding back, suggesting they may not even trade or come to the UK as of Jan 1st, depending on the potential chaos over business processes, backload availability and queuing , but that will also be a growing challenge for the market.

“If we don't hit the right deal with the right access, it can put our own supply chain at risk. For example, due to the Covid pandemic when we had a shortage of drivers in Italy and Spain, we had to send British vehicles to take in more volume and bring it back. If we don't have the right offer, it could be a risk to our supply chain when EU carriers stand up and decide not to come. & # 39;

Mr. Burner called a meeting with Mr. Gove as a "washout" after it "collapsed" with 40 people at the round table and raised "personal questions".

While it is newly hoped "Departure offices" across the country, used for processing and stamping paperwork, prevent traffic from being "directed" to Kent, Ballantyne added, "there may also be queues there."

He expects traffic in Dover and the Eurotunnel in Folkestone to peak.

Mr Ballantyne said he supported the government's new cross-border IT system, GVMS, "in principle" but said the remaining 54 days for implementation were "a very short period of time to get industry used to".

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