Thursday 8 October 2020 2:53 pm

Brexit: UK confirms plans for Kent 'passport' for lorry drivers

The government has confirmed today that lorries entering Kent from other parts of Great Britain will need a special ID from 1 January 2021 and that EU citizens entering the country will need to use a passport when coming to the UK from October.

The new “Kent access permit” will be needed for lorry drivers to confirm they have filled out the correct paperwork to travel into the EU.

Read more: Brexit: Kent to get ‘internal border’ to monitor incoming lorries

The Cabinet Office released its Great Britain-EU Border Operating Model today as the UK prepares to leave the EU’s customs union and single market on 31 December.

The document outlines proposals for four new “inland locations for border infrastructure”, also known as lorry parks, to carry out customs checks where “ports do not have the space”.

The four proposed locations are Ebbsfleet International Station, Kent, North Weald Airfield, Essex, Sevington, Kent, and Warrington, Cheshire.

A leaked document from the Cabinet Office said last month that Kent could see 7,000-long lorry queues, as a worse case scenario, if businesses do not prepare for changes at the border next year.

Before the Open newsletter: Start your day with the City View podcast and key market data

This would lead to a two-day delay to trade, in what would be a disaster for the UK’s supply chains, as the Cabinet Office expects that up to 50 per cent of trucking companies will not be prepared for the new regulations.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said: “With fewer than three months to go, businesses need to prepare now for new procedures whether or not we reach a trade agreement with the EU, so that they can seize the significant opportunities that lie ahead.”

The new plans also detail the need for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens to use passports instead of ID cards when entering the UK from October 2021.

Read more: Brexit: UK and EU edging closer on state aid talks, says David Frost

Home secretary Priti Patel said: “Our firm and fair approach will treat people from every part of the world equally.

“Phasing out the use of identity cards at the border, which are some of the least secure documents, is an important step in making our border safer.”