Chris Grayling reveals lorries from EU will not be checked at Dover after Brexit

Posted On: 
16th March 2018

Lorries carrying goods from Europe will not be checked when they enter the UK at Dover, Chris Grayling has revealed.

Chris Grayling says the Government will not impose a border at Dover.
PA Images

The Transport Secretary said the Government "will not create a hard border" at the border, even though Britain is likely to have a different customs regime from the EU.

Critics have warned that even checking each lorry for two minutes would create tailbacks of up to 29 miles.

We must be ready for Brexit on day one, with no queues on the roads to channel ports – Dover MP

Dover chaos ‘unacceptable’ but not 'a punishment' by French for Brexit, says Tory chairman

But appearing on the BBC's Question Time last night, Mr Grayling insisted that would not be allowed to happen.

He said: "We will maintain a free-flowing border at Dover, we will not introduce checks at the port, it was utterly unrealistic to do so. We don't check lorries now, we're not going to be checking lorries at Dover in the future."

Asked how that would be possible if there are different tariffs in the EU and UK, he said: "Goods flow through borders almost seamlessly everywhere in the world anyway.

"Go to some of our ports on the east coast that take goods from outside the European Union, which flow through smoothly and leave pretty much as soon as they arrive."

Labour MP Stephen Doughty, of the pro-EU campaign group Open Britain, said Mr Grayling had made "a startling admission".

He said: "The Government’s new position on the chaos their Brexit red lines threaten to create at the border seems to be to just turn a blind eye to everything.

"If the cost of Brexit is to totally abandon control of our borders, then everyone is entitled to ask if it's the right path for the country."