Brexit could lead to dead chickens left in lorries on British roads, government admits

Boris Johnson inspects a chicken at Shervington Farm in Newport. Pic: Adrian Dennis/PA Wire

Boris Johnson inspects a chicken at Shervington Farm in Newport. Pic: Adrian Dennis/PA Wire - Credit: Adrian Dennis/PA Wire

Chickens exported to the EU could die on Britain's roads after the end of the Brexit transition period as it fears delays at our borders, a government document admits.

A new document from the government says the 10 months of traffic disruption could last until 'the end of October 2021', with fears that chicks exported to Europe will die unless they can be rushed through the ports.

Although the focus is on a no-deal Brexit, there are concerns that new port checks coming into effect could lead to delays regardless of a deal or not, something Brexiteers originally denied would happen in the 2016 referendum.

The documentation, seen by the Independent, now admits the 'lorry park' it purchased in Ashford last month will hold 2,000 lorries, after Michael Gove dismissed it would be used by that number of vehicles.

And the new report, produced by Grant Shapps' transport department, suggests that animals and live products could lose up to 60% of their value if they fail to reach the EU 'within one or two days'.

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'They cannot be fed in their vehicle, and delays risk dehydration and mortality,' says the government.

The document adds that the UK is in no better position for Brexit and new border controls than a year ago when it was undergoing a 'get ready for Brexit' campaign.

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It adds that 'significant levels of disruption to outbound traffic are unlikely to extend much beyond the middle of 2021'.

'We propose extending the sunset clause by a further 10 months to the end of October 2021 to cover this period and leave the measures in force for a short additional period in the event that disruption continues for longer than anticipated,' it suggests.

The Department for Transport has been contacted for comment.

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