Following the UK’s historic departure from the EU the first lorry has passed through controls at the Eurotunnel on it’s journey to Europe.
First lorry makes historic journey through the Eurotunnel as UK leaves the EU: The driver, Slavi Ivanov Shumeykov, cheerfully waved and smiled as his vehicle was checked by officials late last night. His lorry, owned by shipping magnet Eddie Stobart, passed through the controls at just after 11pm, the deadline time which signaled the end of the Brexit transition period.
The first arrivals from France on the Eurotunnel were expected at 12.23am. Dover has been quieter than usual as many haulage companies have avoided being the first to test the new controls. As customs officials take a flexible approach many hauliers are trying to avoid crossing the Channel altogether, therefore scenes of miles-long queues are probably unlikely.
A spokesman for Eurotunnel, John Keefe, said “For the majority of trucks they won’t even notice the difference. There was always the risk that if this happened at a busy time then we could run into some difficulties but it’s happening overnight on a bank holiday and a long weekend. There is a much lower level of traffic going across the Channel than a regular night.” UK officials are confident that the change over of systems will be seamless. Deputy chief of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Tudor Price, said “The Government can’t expect businesses to now have everything up and ready in that few hours.
Because things have been done so late all the HMRC officials we have spoken to are taking a very relaxed and pragmatic view of the fact that we have only just started to see the text of the deal
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