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27th June 2019 - Press Release

Port of Dover Chief Executive responds to ministerial statement by David Lidington on EU Exit preparedness

“In the current circumstances, it is natural and appropriate that the UK Government should consider how to protect the supply of certain critical goods such as medicines.  However, we also need a measured and holistic approach, one that rationally deals with all of our trading needs. The identified Category 1 goods, whilst critical, form a small subset of the total volume of goods essential to maintaining our quality of life.  We believe a prudent Government should place a commensurate level of attention to ensure that all borders remain open so that other time sensitive essential items, such as perishable foods, continue to flow via the most economic route to market. 

The Port of Dover has been working with Government Departments and its business partners on both sides of the Channel for the past 18 months to address the practical issues of keeping trade flowing freely.  It is clear that the Dover Straits route provides the most popular and efficient connection for trade between the UK, Ireland and Europe – keeping all borders open will enable this key route to provide the essential support to Britain’s economy – factories stay busy, our distribution system remains efficient, shops are full of the goods we want to buy and so prices remain low for the consumer.

Keeping the traffic moving freely across borders will mean balancing any requirements for declarations around the realities of just-in-time logistics and flexible routing of lorries, and crystallising those requirements in sufficient time for merchants to develop the capability to meet them.  It is in this area of ‘trader readiness’ that Government can have a profound impact.

The Port of Dover, as with our sister ports in France and our ferry partners, are prepared for the 31st of October.  Merchants, border agencies and highway authorities have pivotal roles to play in ensuring the system continues to operate smoothly.

We stand ready to support Government and business through this transitional period.”

Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover

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