Preparing for the UK exiting the European Union (EU)
As Britain prepares to leave the EU there are likely to be changes to the way people and goods cross the Channel via Dover and the Channel Tunnel.
The precise nature of these changes is not yet known and depends on the final deal negotiated between the UK government and Brussels.
It is likely however, that this will entail new border control arrangements on both sides of the Channel which may extend the time it takes to process cross-Channel traffic. This in turn has the potential to cause disruption on Kent’s road network as traffic waits to be processed.
How is the Kent Resilience Forum helping Kent to prepare for exiting the EU
The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) is currently reviewing plans and capabilities to ensure that partner organisations are ready to respond as required.
The KRF is planning for a wide range of contingencies, including the welfare of those who may be delayed in queues for long periods of time, working proactively with the Department for Transport and Highways England on plans to manage any traffic disruption on Kent's roads.
These plans focus on the specific aim of keeping the M20 motorway open to traffic and to minimise disruption for local residents and businesses.Contingency plans are also being developed for additional traffic holding areas at the former Manston Airport in Thanet and the M26 motorway in West Kent under a worst case scenario in which additional capacity is required to hold heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic.
Partners will continue to work together to anticipate the potential issues and develop plans to mitigate the impact on Kent’s communities.
Latest update: April 2019
Following the agreement between the UK government and the European Union to extend the deadline for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, the Kent Resilience Forum’s work to minimise disruption to the county will continue.
As a multi-agency group of partners we are committed to preparing for the country’s anticipated withdrawal and have developed contingency plans to keep Kent moving and open for business.
This includes keeping the M20 open in both directions, minimising disruption for local communities and implementing welfare plans for those who may be affected by delays.
We will continue to liaise with central government, fine tune our plans and keep the communities of Kent informed over the coming months.
Download the Kent Resilience Forum EU exit contingency plans here:
Operation Brock is the name for a package of measures aimed at helping to improve the resilience of the roads in Kent to the effects of cross-channel disruption. As well as the M20 contraflow it also includes Manston Airfield and the M26.
Highways England has worked in close partnership with Kent Police, Kent County Council and the Department for Transport to ensure that each phase of Operation Brock could be deployed sequentially and scaled up or down to meet demand.
Keep updated with the latest local travel information on Twitter:
Kent County Council Highways on Twitter
Highways England South East
Port of Dover travel news on Twitter
Eurotunnel on Twitter
How can Kent residents and businesses start preparing?
There are still a number of uncertainties around as to the outcome of Brexit negotiations, however businesses and local communities need to look at what contingency plans they may need to put in place to prepare for the UK exiting the EU. The Government is coordinating advice to businesses and has provided the following links.
This covers advice for:
Check before your travel to ensure you can complete your journey.
Allow extra travel time and consider alternative routes to your destination in the event of a hold up.
If using public transport check for any changes to the service that could affect your journey.
Ensure you take extra food and water, and any prescription medication that may be needed, in the event that your journey is delayed.
In the event of a no-deal EU exit we anticipate that some communities may experience disruption to local road networks. We are working with local authorities to anticipate and minimise any impact this may have and are encouraging residents to consider how they can build their own resilience:
Residents are encouraged to develop household contingency plans and to put plans in place to ensure they are prepared in the event of an emergency or any likely disruption.
Check your local Borough / District council website and social media channels for localised advice and updates about local services.
Tune into local radio and social media channels for updates, guidance and safety messages/ advice.
Health and social care provision:
The Kent Resilience Forum is working closely with health and social care providers as well as emergency services partners to plan for and mitigate a wide range of possible outcomes and impacts relating to disruption due to a no-deal EU exit.
These services have an excellent track record of continuing to deliver services in challenging, or unusual circumstances, such as traffic disruption, issues at ports and severe weather scenarios.
Advice has been developed for situations that could affect the delivery of health care services in potentially isolated communities and the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) has been preparing, planning and testing arrangements to ensure health services continue to run smoothly after the UK exits the EU. Visit NHS England for information on preparing for Brexit.
UK residents planning to travel to the EU:
UK citizens should check their passports, as they may need to be renewed earlier than planned to ensure they are valid for travel in the EU – can be checked online at www.gov.uk
If planning to drive in the EU check on www.gov.uk whether you need to apply for an international driving licence.
Advice for EU residents living in the UK:
General advice for businesses:
Even if your organisation does not have an up-to-date business continuity plan, it’s essential that you run through business continuity processes in the run-up to Brexit. Any consideration of business continuity should focus on the likely prolonged disruption and potential congestion that could result from Britain leaving the EU with no deal.
Check your business continuity plans to mitigate possible disruption.
Consider any risks to your supply chains.
Consider any changes to tariffs and arrangements for export and imports of goods and services.
Make contingency plans for keeping your business operating.
Further help for businesses:
Guidance and information from our partners:
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) issued guidance on healthcare for UK residents visiting the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland in the event of a no-deal Brexit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-residents-visiting-the-eueea-and-switzerland-healthcare
The Department for Education (DfE) issued several sector notices on no deal preparation for the following education providers:
Note: The Kent Resilience Forum is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any third-party website or social media channel.