The British Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has dismissed Project Fear reports of doom and made clear that he believes after an EU exit on WTO terms “I’m expecting the flow of trade in and out of the country in the event of a No Deal Brexit will carry on relatively normally”.
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In an interview with The Telegraph off the back of the government announcing a simplified customs procedure following No Deal, Grayling also said: “Will there be an uninterrupted supply of lettuces from Spain? There will be no problem for those products getting into the UK. The only problem will be delays imposed at the French end as lorries go back either empty or with other products on board but all we can see from the conversations we’re having from the French – we don’t expect there to be a major problem.”
When it comes to scare stories about food shortages, he points out that: “Only 7.5% of the food we eat in the UK comes through Dover/Calais and the Channel Tunnel. So it’s not a case that once we leave the EU that food supplies will suddenly dry up. It’s also clearly the case that we are still a pretty important market for continental producers and they are going to want to see trade carry on moving smoothly.
“For goods coming into the country, there will be no issues because we are not going to install hard borders, we’re not going to start creating complex checks for goods as they come in the country.”
More widely he said that the ball is “firmly in the EU’s court” when it comes to negotiations but that if they want to continue with a hardline approach then it will be those in Brussels who have forced a No Deal outcome. “If they are not willing to compromise, if they’re not willing to work with us to find common ground – it will be down to them if there is No Deal.”
He also insists that there has been “no conversation” about delaying Brexit beyond 29th March. A dose of calm reality-based Brexiteer sense amid a sea of hardline Remain hysteria.