DfT to hand out £30m to ease trade flow after Brexit

30 Aug 19

The government has announced it is to allocate £30m for ports, transport links and councils in an attempt to keep trade flowing smoothly after the Brexit deadline of 31 October.

Ports will be able to bid for a share of £10m for projects to build capacity and efficiency, such as providing more lorry parking, space for containers or developing traffic systems.

Longer-term projects to improve road and rail services that serve ports will benefit from £15m, which the Department for Transport said it hopes will ensure freight gets away from ports faster to reduce the likelihood of build-ups.

And £5m will be shared among four ‘Local Resilience Forums’, comprising councils and other public services, in areas with large ports.

The money – coming from the government’s £2.1m ploughed into preparing the country for a no-deal Brexit - will also to be used for infrastructure improvements. It comes after the announcement of a separate £9m scheme for councils in areas with major ports to plan for Brexit. Earlier this month, the government also said it would create 10 ‘free ports’ – where goods will not be subject to the normal customs and tax rules - to boost ‘left behind areas’ of the country.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps reiterated the government’s position that the UK will leave the EU at the end of October “whatever the circumstances”, and that the funds announced today will ensure a “successful future” in trade.

He said: “As the UK continues to develop as an outward-facing global trading nation ready for a post-Brexit world, the resilience of our trading hubs is more critical than ever before.”

Across the English Channel, France is preparing to carry out a month-long ‘dress rehearsal’ for a no-deal Brexit.

The country’s minister of public action and accounts Gérald Darmanin told French radio today that the government had recruited 700 new customs officers to allow its ports to cope after Brexit. He said he wanted to prepare services in France so they were “ready on D-Day to ensure the smooth flow of trade”.

Did you enjoy this article?