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Key Messages

  • Dover is the Gateway to Europe and Brexit is expected to have a significant impact on our district and our communities.
  • Specific concerns for the area relate to transport, customs arrangements and port health. We are also need to be aware of any impacts to the local economy, tourism, potential changes to funding and amended legislation. 
  • With over 10,000 freight vehicles passing through the Port of Dover on peak days, and with HGV volumes expected to grow by +43% by 2030, the implications of changes to border and customs arrangements are substantial. It is essential the 'Short Straits' (Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel), as the most viable and economic routes, remain the only option for the UK Government going forward. 
  • Dover District Council is also the Port Health Authority for both the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel, with associated statutory responsibilities. Current port health controls, required by law, are small-scale. This is partly due to the import checks and examinations that are currently carried out on our behalf at the point of entry into and then across the EU. Depending upon the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, these may need to be completed in full at the ports. It is vital that there is adequate legislation, facilities, resourcing and authorised competent staff to provide the necessary checks. 
  • As there are still a number of uncertainties around whether there will be a 'hard' or a 'soft' Brexit, it is difficult for businesses and local communities to prepare. Businesses that sell to and buy from the EU will need to have contingency plans in place that are sufficiently flexible to cope with a variety of possible outcomes.

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