Leaked Report Warns No-Deal Brexit May Cause 48-Hour Cargo Delays
Thousands of trucks and assorted cargo vehicles could be facing 48 hours stuck in traffic if a no-deal Brexit pushes through, according to a leaked report from the Department for Transport. This traffic jam will delay the arrival of goods and cause shortages all over the United Kingdom, potentially harming the economy.
Government officials have received multiple warnings about this potential economic catastrophe for months. Although officials indicate that they have plans in case such massive delays occur, the truck traffic jam could still imperil the delivery of perishable goods and cause medical shortages.
Separate studies have discovered that a no-deal Brexit could lead to a shipment and freighting delay, which an advanced skate and track truck loading system may be able to resolve. As early as May 2018, experts have warned that Brexit can cause economically dangerous traffic conditions along the border motorways. The British Broadcasting Company commissioned a research team from Imperial College London to simulate how Brexit could potentially affect the vehicular border checks at the Dover ferry port and the Eurotunnel port at Folkestone.
The research team found that if the border check for each vehicle increased by 120 seconds, the traffic queues for entering and exiting Dover and Folkestone could triple in length to 29 miles. This means that the region would experience five hours of traffic delays at peak hours.
However, separate research that the Department for Transport commissioned from the University College London unveiled bleaker results. According to the study, a no-deal Brexit could cause a six-day delay in cargo shipment. The research says that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, increased customs checks of 40 seconds or less would not affect the shipping and cargo-freighting network. But an extra 60 seconds would lead to traffic jams of six to eight hours. An additional 70 seconds would create a queue of over 2,700 trucks and lead to a six-day traffic jam.
Although the latest leaked report seems to have recalculated this delay to 48 hours, the economic hardships that such a traffic jam can inflict upon the UK will be harsh.
Shortages and Stockpiling
The British government has admitted that they are stockpiling food and medicine to address possible shortages that a no-deal Brexit can cause. These shortages can be a fact of life for years, as the Department for Transport recently revealed that they are ready to spend as much as £300 million to ship critical goods into the country over a maximum of four years.
Doctors have expressed concern that the traffic jams and increased customs checks will hold up the delivery of medication with short shelf lives. But the separation from the European Union won’t just severely restrict the flow of food and medical supplies into the UK. These traffic jams can disastrously delay the deliveries of life-saving products, like blood transfusions and even transplant organs. It will also disrupt the shipment of medication that requires special conditions, such as refrigeration.
Although the government has said there are plans and contingencies in place to prevent the negative effects of a no-deal Brexit from becoming disastrous, only time will tell if these back-up plans will truly be effective.