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East Kent Coast Liberal Democrats

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Emergency planning report details catastrophic effect of no-deal Brexit on Kent

December 6, 2018 2:47 PM
Originally published by Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

The true impact of a catastrophic no deal Brexit has been laid bare in a report published on Wednesday detailing Kent County Council's emergency plans.

The high level report outlines the desperate measures the council will need to take to keep basic services such as social care, schools, highways and trading standards running if the UK leaves without a deal in March 2019.

KCC's plans include employing dozens of extra trading standards and communications staff at a cost to taxpayers of several hundred thousand pounds. Rob at CH

With Kent "routinely" having to accommodate 10,000 extra lorries as border checks are imposed under a no deal scenario, the report details fears that the resulting traffic problems will be so bad that carers will be unable to reach patients, teachers and pupils will be unable to travel to school and the council's own staff won't be able to get around the county.

The Government's traffic management plan, Operation Brock, would see lorries shunted around the county, first parking just outside the Port of Dover, then on the M20. When that was full the next phase would involve opening the old Manston Airport site to park more lorries, followed by the M26 and finally sending lorries "outside the county". Where is not specified.

The resulting congestion is expected to have a severe impact, and the report details contingency plans to help vital services maintain a semblance of normality despite gridlocked roads across the county.

Social care services have been told to identify staff who live close to particularly vulnerable patients, who may be able to visit if their regular career cannot reach them.

Schools have been asked to review travel plans for staff and pupils and put contingencies in place if people cannot get to school. They have also been told to plan for poor air quality caused by idling HGVs outside school buildings.

According to the report, council staff have staff have been told to consider the following:

Rob Bird, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition on Kent County Council, said:

"This report finally reveals the truth. The people of Kent did not vote for disruption to food supplies. They did not vote to jeopardise care for society's most vulnerable or to risk our children's education. The threats of a no deal Brexit are very real. So real in fact that Kent County Council has already committed millions of pounds of taxpayer's money in order to mitigate the worst effects. Kent is still waiting for the Government's cheque.

"A chaotic No-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Kent and Kent's MPs should insist that Government rules this out now. But there is still time to step back from this nightmare. The Government is deadlocked - if our leaders cannot find the strength to drag us out of this mess, it is up to us. The case for a People's Vote has never been stronger - we must have the final say on the future of our country."

To read the report in full, click here.