WATCH: Britain’s ports brace for Brexit disruption

The first ferry of the day is arriving from France at Newhaven on England’s south coast… and already, June Bradbury is making breakfast for her guests, a German family visiting from the Continent.

June starting renting out her spare room on Air B’n’B in 2016 in response to Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

June Bradbury, Newhaven resident said “it turned into this wonderful open door to Europe again and it felt very much like an antidote. And that’s how I used it, I used to say to people ‘this is my antidote to Brexit.’

In coastal cities around the UK residents and businesses are wondering what Brexit will mean for their links with Europe.

Holyhead in Wales is the closest British port to Dublin... Lorries arriving from Ireland often drive across England to get to France rather than taking the longer sea route.

But a new sea route direct from Dublin to the Continent is being considered in case Brexit makes it harder to send goods via the UK. This would cut out Holyhead, threatening hundreds of jobs.

Truck driver Michael Hartnett says the uncertainty is worrying.

Michael Hartnett, truck driver said "we have no information. We don't know when we go to Dover what's going to happen. We don't know when we go to France and we're coming back into the United Kingdom what's going to happen. We don't know actually even being here and collecting our trailers from the port, we have no idea what the procedure's going to be."

There are similar concerns in Dover, the busiest port on the English Channel. A report by the local council found that if new customs checks add just a few minutes for each truck, tailbacks of thousands of lorries could stretch for miles.

But where there is disruption, there could be opportunity. At Immingham, near Hull in northern England, there’s hope that Brexit might make the port more competitive.

Daffyd Williams, ABP Humber ports said "well we are very optimistic about the future. // If there are delays - extra delays - for the customs arrangement which will cause a particular problem for ports in the southeast like Dover where they've got very constrained land space, that will lead to additional queues for their traffic. We have land space available here that we can manage the space better so we don't have that queuing issue.

Residents and businesses in port cities around the UK are hoping for more clarity as the pace of Brexit negotiations picks up. But until an agreement is reached, they can only hope for the best, while planning for the worst.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
Top