HGVs could face maximum delays of 1.5-2.5 days before being able to cross the border (Picture: AFP)
HGVs could face maximum delays of 1.5-2.5 days before being able to cross the border (Picture: AFP)

The Yellowhammer documents have warned that there will be ‘significant delays at the border’ as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

The six page document says that lorries will have to wait for up to two and a half days to cross the English channel.

The document goes on to claim that 50-85%% of HGVs travelling via the ‘Channel Straits’ may not be ready for French customs checks.

It adds that the worst disruption could last for up to three months at the Channel crossing.

The government was forced to publish the documents following a vote from MPs.

The documents also sets out the impact of a no-deal scenario on food supplies, delays at the border, civil disorder, fuel disruption and rising electricity prices.

Here’s what it says in relation to border disruption, if we are to crash out of the EU without a deal: ‘France will impose EU mandatory controls on UK goods on Day 1 No Deal (D1ND) and have built infrastructure and IT systems to manage and process customs declarations and support a risk based control regime.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 19, 2018, a cross-channel ferry arrives at the port of Dover as lorries check in on the south coast of England. - Preparedness in Britain for a no-deal Brexit remains "at a low level", with logjams at Channel ports threatening to impact drug and food supplies, according to government assessments released September 11, 2019. British MPs voted last week to force the government to publish the no-deal "Operation Yellowhammer" document, which also warns of "public disorder" in such a scenario. Britain's plan for no checks at the Irish border would likely "prove unsustainable due to significant economic, legal and biosecurity risks", it said, adding that it could lead to a black market developing in border communities, with dissident groups expected to capitalise. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
The Yellowhammer documents claim that ‘travel disruption from Channel Straits would also cause significant queues in Kent (Picture: AFP)

‘On D1ND, between 50-85%% of HGVs travelling via the short Channel Straits may not be ready for French customs.

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‘The lack of trader readiness combined with limited space in French ports to hold ‘unready’ HGVs could reduce the flow rate to 40-60%% of current levels within one day, as unready HGVs will fill the ports and block flow.

‘The worst disruption to the short Channel Straits might last for up to 3 months before it improves by a significant level to around 50-70%%, (due to more traders getting prepared), although there could continue to be some disruption for significantly longer.

‘In the event of serious disruption, the French might act to ensure some flow through the short Channel crossings.

‘Disruption to flow across the short Channel Straits would also cause significant queues in Kent and delays to HGVs attempting to use the routes to travel to France.

‘In a reasonable worst case scenario, HGVs could face maximum delays of 1.5-2.5 days before being able to cross the border.

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‘HGVs that are caught up in congestion in the UK will be unable to return to the EU to collect another load and a proportion of logistics firms may decide to avoid the route should there be significant and prolonged disruption.

‘Analysis to date has suggested a low risk of significant sustained queues at ports outside of Kent which have high volumes of EU traffic, but BDG will continue to work directly with stakeholders at those ports to support planning readiness (BDG/DfT).

‘UK citizens travelling to and from EU may be subject to increased immigration checks at EU border posts. This may lead to passenger delays at St Pancras, Cheriton (Channel Tunnel) and Dover where juxtaposed controls are in place.

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‘Dependent on the plans EU Member States put in place to cope with these increased immigration checks it is likely that delays will occur for UK arrivals and departures at EU airports and ports.

There is also expected to be an impact on EU citizenship for British nationals as well as the impact on clean water and fears over fishing wars between UK and EU vessels.

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‘This could cause some disruption to transport services.

‘Travellers may decide to use alternative routes to complete their journey.’

The Yellowhammer pages also set out the expected impact on EU citizenship for British nationals as well as the impact on clean water and fears over fishing wars between UK and EU vessels.

What does Operation Yellowhammer warn of?

  • Three months of disruption at Channel crossings
  • Two-and-a-half day delays for lorries entering the UK
  • Immigration delays for UK tourists heading to Europe
  • Rise in protests and public disorder
  • Disruption to fuel supplies
  • ‘Significant’ electricity price rises
  • ‘Severe extended delays’ to medicine supplies
  • Animal disease outbreaks
  • Reduction in supplies of fresh food
  • Supermarket price rises
  • Panic-buying
  • Lack of clean water due to failure in supply of chemicals
  • Breakdown in sharing of law enforcement data with EU countries
  • Gibraltar not prepared enough
  • Fishing wars between UK and EU vessels
  • Hard border in Ireland

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