Post-Brexit plan to not check lorries ‘won’t affect security’ at Portsmouth port, says transport secretary

Not all lorries entering the UK through Portsmouth port will be checked after Brexit
Not all lorries entering the UK through Portsmouth port will be checked after Brexit
Claire Udy

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BORDER security at the city’s port won’t be affected despite government proposals not to check all lorries arriving into the UK from overseas after Brexit, a top MP has said.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said he did not want to create a ‘hard’ border in ports like Portsmouth, which will force security officials to stop every lorry entering Britain.

Quizzed if this would have a detrimental impact on security, Mr Grayling told The News: ‘There are in today’s world plenty of ways to monitor on the security front, and to collect customs duties online, but above all we can’t have ports that simply congeal.

‘Southampton, which has substantial amounts of trade coming in from outside the European Union, is well-used to dealing with flow of trade and keeping things moving quickly.

‘I am less concerned about ports like Portsmouth and Southampton which have a long experience of dealing with a variety of goods and do so speedily and effectively. ‘

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The comments have been welcomed by Alan Mouland, who runs A.M.T European Transport which is based in Fareham.

Mr Mouland, who regularly transports goods from the European mainland to the UK, said: ‘This is a good idea.

‘Extra checks would create unnecessary queues. There is already a system in place – especially in Ouistreham near Caen – where every vehicle is checked.

‘You then get a small pass that you have to use to get on the ship. You can’t do it otherwise.’

Mr Grayling added: ‘Our goal above all is to keep the ports flowing smoothly. Portsmouth is a successful port, along with Dover and other south coast ports, and we have to make sure that continues.’

Last year almost 1.17m tonnes of imported goods passed through Portsmouth International Port.

The site also receives hundreds of thousands of visitors from ferries to and from Europe every year.