UK lifts post-Brexit permits for truckers as trade picks up

LONDON (AP) – Britain has lifted travel restrictions on truckers to avoid border chaos after the country’s economic split from the European Union late last year.

The government said on Tuesday it was removing the ‘access permit’ truck drivers had to present to enter Kent County in south-eastern England, home to the Port of Dover and the far end. British Channel Tunnel. He said temporary road barriers erected to control truck arrears will be dismantled over the weekend.

The ‘Kent Passport’ was introduced on January 1 to regulate freight traffic to Europe after the UK left the EU’s economic structures in the final stages of Brexit. The split meant new checks and red tape for traders, raising fears of delays and traffic jams.

The Department for Transport said the measures were lifted because truckers arrived at the border prepared and freight volumes between the UK and the EU were “at normal levels”.

British exports to the EU fell by 5.7 billion pounds ($ 8 billion) in January from the previous month and rebounded by 3.7 billion pounds ($ 5.2 billion) in February . Imports also experienced a sharp drop in January and a weaker rebound in February.

The UK government has played down the impact of Brexit, saying coronavirus restrictions have also played a role in the economic crisis.

The UK has delayed imposing checks on some goods coming from the EU until the end of the year to give businesses more time to prepare. He also postponed checks on certain goods coming to Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK. These checks were accepted as part of the UK-EU divorce deal to avoid creating a rigid border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

But the measures have angered British trade unionists in Northern Ireland, who say they are driving a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Opposition to the new customs rules was a factor in a week of street violence in Northern Ireland earlier this month. Unionist politicians call on government to tear up Northern Ireland deals in Brexit deal,

The EU is upset by Britain’s unilateral trade rulings and has taken legal action against the UK for allegedly violating the Brexit deal, a legally binding treaty.

The two sides have held meetings to try to resolve the dispute, but say significant differences remain.

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