Chaos at British ports is a “real prospect” if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a deal, a new report has warned. There is a “real risk” the Department for Transport (DfT) will not be ready for a no-deal scenario, a Commons committee said. In its report, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said the risks are “severe” and that time is running out to plan.
The committee accused DfT officials of having a “complacent” approach to Brexit preparations. It said the department has failed to communicate properly with businesses so they can get ready for a possible no-deal outcome. A DfT spokesman contested the conclusions of the report. He pointed to measures in place such as a provision for issuing haulier permits for truckers to carry on driving in Europe.
The report said: “There is a real risk that the Department for Transport will not be ready in the event of the UK departing the EU without a negotiated deal, and this risk is increasing as time runs out to deliver what is needed.” It criticised plans for projects such as the traffic management system on the M20 to ease problems at ports on the South Coast. This has been dubbed a “13-mile lorry park”.
The committee added: “The slow progress and poor communication around work to avoid this through schemes such as Project Brock concerns us.
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