Friday 4 January 2019 3:54 pm

Government finds 150 lorries to test Dover crossing congestion in case of no-deal Brexit

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering private equity and investment.

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering private equity and investment.

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Operation Brock, the system designed to minimise disruption at the border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, will be tested for the first time next week.

A total of 150 HGV lorries will trial the route from Manston Airport to Dover as part of the Department for Transport’s contingency planning for the UK’s departure from the European Union in March.

It is feared that a no-deal Brexit could cause chaos on the M20 if additional border checks are implemented at the Port of Dover and in Europe. 

A DfT spokesperson said: “We do not want or expect a no deal scenario and continue to work hard to deliver a deal with the EU. However, it is the duty of a responsible government to continue to prepare for all eventualities and contingencies, including a possible no deal.

“We will be testing part of Operation Brock to ensure that, if it needs to be implemented, the system is fully functional.”

The trial of Operation Brock, which is intended to avoid a repeat of road closures that hit the area in 2015 under Operation Stack, comes as the government ramps up no-deal Brexit planning and Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to take her withdrawal agreement to a parliamentary vote later this month.

A Kent County Council spokesman said: “We are working with the Department for Transport to ensure there is an effective plan in place should there be any disruption once the UK has left the EU.

“Operation Brock has been designed to ensure that, unlike Operation Stack, the M20 will be kept open and traffic will continue to flow in both directions at times of cross-Channel disruption.

“Work on this new approach, Operation Brock, would have taken place regardless of the result of the referendum, to improve contingency arrangements for a range of scenarios which could result in cross-Channel disruption, including bad weather and industrial action.”