Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Brexit news: BBC’s John Humphrys tears apart port boss over no deal concerns | UK | News

The veteran host insisted the council would not need more money to prepare for a no deal scenario as Mr Vernon-Jackson explained the port already set up contingency plans to avoid disruption. The Liberal Democratic councillor said Portsmouth City Council spent £4million to add extra parking space and triage areas on the M27 to ensure lorries are not forced to queue on the motorway if they lack the correct documentation to travel to the . The statement had John Humphrys interrupt the councillor to say: “There you are, so you are alright. You don’t need more money.

Seriously, You are now in a situation where, even if there is a no deal Brexit, Portsmouth will be alright. We won’t see the motorway approaches to your city totally log jammed.”

Portsmouth is the second biggest port in Britain after Dover in , currently handling 500 lorries each day travelling to and Spain.

Mr Vernon-Jackson insisted the Council “hoped” their preparation would be enough but revealed the Government warned the local port could see a boom of lorries diverted from Dover due to extra checks applied on the continent.

He said: “We’re much smaller as a port, we’re the second busiest cross-Channel ferry port in the country.

We do 500 lorries a day, Dover dwarves us and they do 10,000 a day but we’ve been told to expect up to 2,000 extra lorries a day turning up in Portsmouth. Because they can’t get through Dover.

“It’s not what’s going to happen in the UK that’s the problem, it’s getting through customs clearance in France and Spain that’s the problem.”

The warning came as the Government announced on Wednesday they would inject an extra £2.6million in the war chest set aside to help prepare Kent councils to help prepare for no deal. 

Local Government Secretary  said the money was allocated due to Kent being on the frontline of potential no deal risks. 

Ahead of a meeting with Chancellor and French President Emmanuel Macron, the Prime Minister said he will go into talks with EU leaders “with a lot of oomph”.

Mr Johnson is due to meet Mrs Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday before meeting President Macron in Paris on Thursday.

Mr Johnson added: “I hope we will be making some progress in the course of the next few weeks.

“But clearly, one thing that slightly complicates the picture is our EU friends still clearly think there is a possibility that Parliament will block Brexit, and as long as they think that there is a possibility that Parliament will block Brexit, they are unlikely to be minded to make the concessions that we need.

“So it is going to take a bit of patience.”

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