U.K. Abolishes Emergency Brexit Permits for Truck Drivers


The U.K. government abolished an emergency Brexit rule requiring lorries crossing the English channel to obtain a permit before entering the county of Kent.

From Tuesday, drivers will no longer have to get a Kent Access Permit to show their truck has the right clearances to travel into the European Union, according to a statement from the Department for Transport.

The government introduced the permit to reduce the risk of traffic chaos caused by lorries not having the right documents to pass post-Brexit border checks. Drivers who didn’t have the pass faced a 300-pound ($420) fine if they entered the county in southeastern England.

The decision comes as trade with the EU bounces back after a sharp slump in January. U.K. goods exports rose almost 47% in February from the previous month.

“Delays have been prevented thanks to hauliers arriving at the border prepared,” the government said in the statement. “Freight volumes between the U.K. and the EU continue to operate at normal levels.”

However, businesses have still encountered difficulties when trading with the EU, with food products particularly affected.

Total exports to the EU in February were down 12.5% from the year-earlier period, according to the Office for National Statistics. Exports to the rest of the world fell by 8.6% in the same period. The difference indicates that Brexit is having effect in addition to the impact of the coronavirus.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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