COMMENT: Apocalyptic M275 vision inches closer for city chiefs

It is no longer the elephant standing in the corner of the room trying its best to hide. No, Brexit has long motored past that point. Now it is the animal that is standing right in the middle of the room, so everyone can see it. And it's getting in the way of everything.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 8:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:31 am

Talking of motoring, that could be something you won't be doing quickly on the M275 come March 30 next year if a worse-case scenario is played out in the UK's apocalyptic, post-Brexit aftermath.

Portsmouth City Council had planned to stack delayed lorries to avoid turning the motorwayinto a glorified car park under a no-deal Brexit.

They had wanted to use the Ministry of Defence firing range at Tipner West to stack the vehicles if new customs checks slowed the lorries and forced them to queue on the M275.

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But they now have to think again as the MoD have said they will no longer hand over the land, as planned, on April 1.

That's April Fool's Day, obviously, but this is no laughing matter. This is Brexit, and all laughter is off until we know the outcome. But time is tick, tick, ticking and of course we currently have no idea what kind of Brexit we will have. That is incredibly frustrating for most people, but for those involved in the city port it is more than that.

Officials there have to start planning for all eventualities, because if we ever ended with the M275 gridlocked by a lorry convoy the blame would quickly be put on them.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson has spelt it out in no uncertain terms. '˜The distance from the freight gate back to the motorway is the length of 13 lorries only. You've got 14 lorries queuing and you've got queuing on the motorway.'

Of course, that eventuality might never happen. But then again, it might. No one can say for sure. That is Brexit at the moment.

Just how long will this elephant remain in our rooms?