Leaked no-deal Brexit report warns of delays of up to 2 days and an 8,000 vehicle queue at the border

Boris Johnson

  • A no-deal Brexit could leave cars and lorries queuing at the border for up to two days due to increased checks at the English Channel.
  • Leaked government analysis says that in a worse case scenario, new border checks will leave drivers waiting two days before crossing, creating a pile-up of around 8,000 vehicles.
  • However, even in the best case scenario, half of vehicles will wait at least eight hours.
  • Last week, Business Inside reported that liquid egg — a widely-used ingredient in British manufacturing — had been added to the list of foods that could run out in a no-deal Brexit.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Delays at the border caused by a no-deal Brexit risk making cars and lorries wait two days before crossing, and creating a pile-up of around 8,000 vehicles, according to government material leaked to Sky News.

The Department for Transport analysis said that in a worst case scenario, vehicles trying to cross the border with the European Union — including those carrying fresh food and medicine — may have to wait up to two days before doing so due to new border checks, with an average wait of one-and-a-half-days.

This would amount to queues of 8,000 vehicles, the report says. 

Read more: The government warns UK food manufacturers that some egg supplies could run out in Brexit panic

However, even in the best case scenario, 50% of vehicles and lorries will wait at least eight hours before being allowed to cross, according to the analysis.

dover calais trucks

It is the latest evidence of the disruption a no-deal exit from the EU would unleash at the United Kingdom’s borders.

Boris Johnson is determined to deliver on Brexit on October 31, even if it means doing so without a deal.

The prime minister has said the UK would cope with such an outcome despite widespread warnings about myriad negative consequences, including delays border and their impact on crucial imports like fresh food and medicine.

Business Insider last week reported that government officials had added liquid egg to list of foods that experience shortages as a result of new border checks. 

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs privately warned industry leaders that delays at the border risked causing a shortage of liquid egg, much of which is imported from the EU to make a large variety of food products in the UK including cakes, pastries, and sauces.

Industry figures were told that in a no-deal Brexit scenario, the government expected that up to 60% of lorries would not have the correct documentation to move between Calais and Dover with some lorries potentially having to wait up to two days before crossing the Channel.

Prime Minister Johnson last week publicly dismissed warnings that there would be food shortages, telling Sky News that it is “highly unlikely” that food stocks would dry up. 

Labour’s Shadow Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner told Sky News: “They [the government] have got their head in the sand. They’ve lived with the pretense for so long that it’ll all be alright on the day.

“But this must be causing them inner concern. Because if in two months all of this comes about they will be held responsible. I think the transport secretary ought to stand up in parliament and make a statement about it.”

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