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1st October 2019 - Press Release

We are prepared - Port of Dover Chief Executive Doug Bannister speaks today at The Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

Doug Bannister has today reiterated the importance of keeping goods flowing freely via the most economic route to market on 31st October and beyond at a Port of Dover Conservative Party Conference Fringe event in association with Conservativehome.

Smooth operations at the Port are vital for ensuring factories stay busy, shops are full and prices remain low for British consumers.

Doug said: “Dover is a fast-pace operation unlike anywhere else and has been dubbed Britain’s just-in-time trade conveyor belt; but it is Ireland’s too with around 40% of Irish exports to the EU travelling via Dover. Business as usual means Dover as usual and that is what we have been working on.”

The Port of Dover has been at the forefront of the Brexit debate around UK trade and for good reason. It handles £122bn by value or 17% of the UK’s trade in goods on the shortest sea crossing between the UK and the EU.  That unique geographical position enables Dover to maximise capacity, efficiency and frequency in order to facilitate 120 ferry movements a day with a fleet of 12 ferries carrying up to 110 miles of lorries between them – more than all other UK ports combined. 

He added: “Alongside ongoing major investment in our operational capacity, we’ve prepared for Brexit, working hard to ensure our assets are ready, critical spare parts stocked and the right level of resources are in place.”

With one month to go until Brexit, Doug was joined by other logistics leaders, including James Hookham, Deputy Chief Executive of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), to discuss how Britain’s key transport links are preparing for Brexit.

The Port of Dover is also the headline sponsor for the FTA ’s Brexit Readiness Conference on Friday, which presents another timely opportunity for key players in the logistics industry to come together and ensure they are prepared for 31st October.

James Hookham, Deputy CEO of FTA said:

“Port readiness is key to maintaining continuity of trade, if the UK leaves the EU without a Deal. But the new complex Border requirements that will apply will be challenging for everyone to get right first time, every time.

No one should think this an easy option. FTA  would much prefer the UK leave with a Deal agreed, including  the Transition Period when current trade arrangements stay in place to avoid the risks of disruption to the flow of goods.

Minimising the risk of any disruption will be dependent on the readiness of everyone involved: the ports, the ferry companies, hauliers, traders and Border agencies, in both Britain and France.

Government still needs to provide essential details of the Border procedures and still has the opportunity to reduce the burden further by extending easements and postponing deadlines.”

The Port is one link in the chain and governments have a responsibility to ensure that borders operate efficiently. Trader readiness is another key area, which is why these conferences are so important. The Port is doing everything possible to support this so that all links in the logistics chain are good to go and the UK Government must continue playing a big role too.



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