'No-deal will cripple Dover-Calais trade'

PUBLISHED: 12:44 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:44 09 November 2018

The Dover-Calais trade route faces 'disaster' if the UK crashes out of Europe according to a port chief
Photo: PA / Gareth Fuller

The Dover-Calais trade route faces 'disaster' if the UK crashes out of Europe according to a port chief Photo: PA / Gareth Fuller

PA Wire/PA Images

A no-deal Brexit would be a "disaster" for one of the UK's most important trade routes, the government has been warned.

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The stark appraisal was delivered by Port of Calais chief Jean-Marc Puissesseau who added that it would cause chaos in Dover, Calais and elsewhere in northern France.

The warning came a day after Brexit secretary Dominic Raab admitted he had underestimated the importance of the Dover-Calais crossing.

READ: PM told she is causing more Brexit ‘chaos’

He said: “I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing.

“And that is one of the reasons why we have wanted to make sure we have a specific and very proximate relationship with the EU, to ensure frictionless trade at the border.

“I don’t think it is a question so much of the risk of major shortages, but I think probably the average consumer might not be aware of the full extent to which the choice of goods that we have in the stores are dependent on one or two very specific trade routes.”

Mr Puissesseau expressed his frustration at the lack of information emerging from Raab and other UK ministers, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I met Mr Raab, I met your agricultural minister, I met your transport minister but nobody could tell us exactly how it will be.

“It’s clear if there is not any hope in a deal somewhere, it will be chaos.”

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