Emergency powers to handle post-Brexit queues of lorries heading for France are being made permanent. This clearly indicates that the UK government expects further cross-Channel disruption.
This concerns Operation Brock, a traffic management system designed to cope with queues of up to 13,000 lorries heading for mainland Europe across Kent, was meant to end by October 2021, after being extended once when the Brexit transition period ended in December 2020.
Now, ministers are planning to make the provisions indefinite by removing “sunset clauses” from the legislation that set out when the powers would expire. This would mean the emergency protocol can be activated at any time to govern the flow of lorries around the Port of Dover and Channel tunnel at Folkestone with contraflow systems.
The change was published quietly in a consultation response on the government’s website during parliamentary recess while MPs were away from Westminster, with statutory instruments to be laid in September.
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