Brexit: Lorries will need permit to enter Kent from January
"Welcome to the county of Kent, papers please."
Lorry drivers will be required to have a 'Kent access permit (KAP)' to get into the county from January 1, Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove has confirmed.
The new system will require all lorry drivers intending to access ferry ports or the Eurotunnel to attain and present a permit to gain access to Kent and means that there will be a de facto border on Kent's county lines.
“We want to make sure that people use a relatively simple process in order to get what will become known as a Kent access permit,” Gove told parliament regarding the KAP.
“If they don’t have the material required, then it will be the case that through policing, ANPR cameras and other means, we will do our very best to ensure that… constituents [in Kent] are not inconvenienced."
On Tuesday, Gove wrote to the haulage industry, warning them that if they do not begin preparing for Brexit immediately then drivers could face queues in Kent of up to 7,000 lorries, a warning which has been received with anger by many within the industry.
Richard Burnett, the chief executive of Road Haulage Association, who earlier this month warned MPs that there was an 80% chance of "chaos in Kent" from New Year's day onwards, criticised the government's ongoing lack of clarity on the issue.
“Mr Gove stresses that it’s essential that traders act now to get ready for new the formalities," he said.
"We know for a fact that they are only too keen to be ready but how on earth can they prepare when there is still no clarity as to what they need to do?”