Brexit news: Panicked Macron prepares for no deal Brexit with trial customs checks | World | News


Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union in just 43 days time without an agreement – which will see the UK withdraw from the single market and customs union. As a result British and EU goods will be subject to strict border checks to see if freight meets relevant UK and EU regulations. France has begun implementing checks at the port of Ouistreham, north of Caen, where three lorries and a ferry arrive daily from Portsmouth.

The French Government has invested 40 million euros in preparation for the Brexit in recent months.

In addition, 700 additional customs officers have been hired.

In the port of Ouistreham, located in northwestern region, three ships arrive per day, three million tons of goods and one million passengers arrive every year.

There are also 44 million tonnes of goods arriving Calais each year from the UK.

Gérald Darmanin, French minister for the state budget, said: “We prepare ourselves as if there were a no deal.”

Mr Darmanin insisted if the UK and EU could thrash out a deal it would be “easier” but warned Britain would be treated like any other country after Brexit.

He added: “If there is a deal, we will adjust and it will be a bit easier.

“And if there is no agreement, then Britain will become a foreign market for us, just like South Africa.”

Meanwhile Eurotunnel has also held a round of tests to prepare for a possible no deal Brexit.

The tests were held to check that a new “digital border” between France and Britain would work seamlessly and keep traffic flowing in the event of new controls.

Eurotunnel ran freight trucks between Folkestone in Britain and Coquelles in France to test the new 15 million euro (£13.2 million) infrastructure that features barcodes for customs declarations.

READ MORE: Brexit news: German businesses demand no delay to Brexit

The published document dated August 2, warned between 50-85 percent of UK lorries travelling to the EU may not be ready for French customs.

It also warned of readiness and limited space in French ports could cut HGV traffic by 40-60 percent and lead to disruption lasting three months

The Government said it is spending an extra £2.1 billion on no deal planning and is updating these planning assumptions.

(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)

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