BrexitPoliticsThe Conservatives

Would we throw rocks in our own harbour?

Remember when I said a week and a half ago that Project Fear Mk II was about to get going? Here’s an example from Tory MP Sir Roger Gale yesterday:

A hard Brexit will leave traffic “backed up to Birmingham”, according to a Tory MP…


The North Thanet MP mocked former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab for admitting he “hadn’t quite understood” how reliant UK trade in goods is on the Dover-Calais crossing.


“Other people don’t seem to have grasped this fact but quite a lot of trade does come through Dover,” he said, adding 85% of the freight coming through Dover is continental, including pharmaceuticals, food and car parts.

I can’t vouch for Dominic Raab, but I think most “other people” have grasped that Dover is very important for trade.

Which one’s smarter?

“A hard Brexit means a hard border between Dover and Calais – that shutter will come down and there will be controls, and if those shutters come down the traffic backs up at about a mile an hour.


Sir Roger said Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson’s constituents “may not care whether Kent is turned into a lorry park”


But he said they “will scream blue murder” when they find they cannot buy “their new Chelsea tractor, their life-saving drugs or the food they enjoy that come in from mainland Europe”.

Yes, there may well be delays for a while in getting stuff to the Continent, and getting across as a tourist or business traveller (and for this the government would be culpable because of their deliberate lack of planning). But why would our imports be held up? We control what comes into the country, not the EU, and we can choose not to drop down the shutters. We let in products for the rest of the world without any problem, why would we hold up stuff from the EU?

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4 thoughts on “Would we throw rocks in our own harbour?

  1. Yes, exactly. What stops us from simply accepting whatever documentation (maybe electronic) that we have been accepting previously? If what is meant is that the EU will no longer issue it, that will be their ill-will, and not our fault. (The possible suggestion is that we shall suddenly have to impose tariffs on incoming goods from the EU at the same level as for the rest of the world; is that really a serious problem? And why not simply reduce all tariffs to zero? Oh, I know, that is inconceivable; but why?)

  2. Hammond says it will take two years plus to get Dover ready for a No Deal. Because of planning rules. Hasn’t he heard of national security trumping such jobsworths rules?

  3. I have a lingering doubt. How on earth did we manage to trade with Europe before we joined the EU? Did we not buy BMWs? Did the Europeans buy Rolls-Royces … and all the other stuff which went both ways across the Channel?

  4. But they’ve already had two years plus, during which they must have been preparing in some degree–maybe not in bricks and mortar, perhaps (supposing bricks and mortar and suchlike to be needed; I’d guess they aren’t). As I’ve asked before, where exactly is the problem?

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