The head of the port of Calais has warned that mandatory customs and sanitary checks could cause 30-mile tailbacks and potential food shortages in the UK.
According to The Guardian, Jean-Marc Puissesseau urged Theresa May and Michel Barnier to immediately put plans in place to avoid congestion in Calais and Dover, where the chairman of Maritime UK has already said there could be permanent 20-mile queues.
President of the Calais region, Hauts-de-France, warned at a private meeting at the European parliament that the congestion would be 10 times worse than at the Irish border if a Brexit deal involves mandatory checks.
“I know Ireland is going to be a real problem, but please remember the economic issues in Ireland are 10 times smaller than what is going to happen here,” he is reported to have said.
“This is a black scenario, but it is going to get darker and darker,” he added, calling for politicians to set up working groups and listen to business.
At the same meeting, Puissesseau made the point that both the UK and France would be affected by the hold-ups and added bureaucracy.
“The UK is part of the 21st century. But this takes us back 100 years. This is sad,” he said, according to The Guardian. “From Brexit day, 100 per cent of our traffic will be from outside the EU. I tell you honestly that GB will be a third country, this frightens me. There’s such a long history between the UK and EU.”