Project Fear DASHED! ‘Biggest Brexit concern’ overcome as borders ‘back to normal’

Brexit: George Galloway tells EU to 'mind their own business'

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Figures seen by the BBC show outbound roll-on roll-off lorry traffic for Britain so far in February has now hit 98 percent of the data seen in the same month a year ago. Inbound traffic is now at 99 percent of last year’s levels, while around 80-90 percent of laden lorries are arriving border-ready. One border official told the BBC the UK Government is “pleased that overall flows are back to normal”.

The UK’s departure from the EU at the end of the transition period on December 31 had sparked fear of border chaos at UK ports because of significantly more red tape.

But Downing Street’s data on lorries turning back due to the wrong documentation is now below 2.5 percent, having almost hit eight percent in the days following Brexit.

Brexiteer and former MEP Martin Daubney hailed the news, taking a swipe at the Project Fear campaign and Remainers desperately campaigning for the UK to rejoin the European Union.

He tweeted: “Absolute tumbleweed from Remain Twitter, #FBPE loons, James O’Brexit & all the usual doom-mongers as freight ‘back to normal’ at British ports.

“No tailbacks. No lorry parks. No drama.

“No story for the Brexit bedwetters. #ProjectNoFear.”

The BBC’s Economics Editor Faisal Islam also tweeted: “BBC has seen the official internal management data for the new post-Brexit freight border – roll on roll off lorry outbound flows to EU now at 98% of last February – though was 73% in January… officials say ‘back to normal’.

“That is reference to lorry flow rates – which is what Cabinet Office key committees most concerned about post Brexit in terms of knock-on social impact for supplies of everything. Government now confident its ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ of 7k lorries in kent won’t happen.

“That is not same as saying trade has normalised – drawing on multiple sources – ferry manifests, Kent checks, french official data – the level of empty lorries on the short straits is around 50%, and was normally around 30%.

“Traffic here was 67% normal in Jan – 82% in Feb.

“Combining those and you get to around 2,000 fewer laden export trucks a day in January, still notable fall now.

“Officials say much was displaced into last year by stockpilers.

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“On other hand French transport sources suggest the higher value Tunnel export empties more like 50-60%.”

Earlier this week, it was revealed around 6,000 lorries are passing through the busy Kent port each day and heading for Europe.

Lorries are coming into the country laden with goods for the market but concern remains that more than half are empty on the return journey.

But the port of Dover said last Monday freight volumes are now back to more than 90 percent of what would be expected for this time of year.

Sarah West, chief operations officer at the Port of Dover said: “I’m really encouraged to see such a positive start to the new year as we adapt to the new systems and processes involved in a new, post-Brexit transition era.

“The message to hauliers is that as long as you come to the Kent border ready and with a negative Covid test, then it won’t be long before you are on your way to France on the shortest ferry crossing.”

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