Bodies could go unburied under no-deal Brexit, local council warns in damning report

Posted On: 
7th December 2018

A no-deal Brexit could lead to bodies not being buried across Kent as miles of traffic jams create gridlock around the port of Dover, the local county council has warned.

Traffic queueing on the M20 approaching the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, Kent
Credit: 
PA

In a new report, the local authority revealed that up to 10,000 lorries could end up stranded on the M20 because of customs delays caused by the UK crashing out of the EU.

The blockage could lead to delays to bin collections, leave children unable to get to school and prevent funerals going ahead as bodies pile up in morgues, according to the report.

Theresa May accused of 'watering down' pledge to protect EU citizens under a no-deal Brexit

Carolyn Fairbairn: “The Brexit deal is a compromise, it is progress and we should now make it work”

ANALYSIS: Ignore the spin, the Grieve amendment will not save Theresa May's Brexit deal

A plan to divert traffic away from the port, codenamed Operation Fennel, has been designed to keep roads clear and avoid no-deal Brexit chaos.

But if the worst case scenario does unfold, the council would deliver emergency briefings to schools and has contingency plans in place to ensure food gets delivered and air quality issues are addressed.

The report suggested that council staff may have to work elsewhere as the regions adjusts to the custom delays.

“The opportunity for staff to work at libraries, gateways and other KCC offices closer to their homes is being explored,” it stated.the report said.

The Kent coroner’s service warned that it “could face difficulties with the transport of the deceased to postmortem or body storage facilities, [as could] the attendance of staff to hospital sites for identification purposes and travel by pathologists to mortuary to conduct postmortems.

“Whilst mitigation measures are being explored, there are limited options available to this service.”

On waste management, the report stated: “District and borough collection services may be delayed and disrupted if there is significant traffic congestion.”

The government has been making emergency preparations for a no-deal Brexit, with Cabinet receiving a weekly update on the plans.  

Yesterday, Privy Counsellors were given a briefing by the civil contingencies secretariat - which is responsible for emergency planning - on the potential impact of leaving the EU without a deal.