Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council are standing up for the jobs and livelihoods on people in Faversham and across our county.
Those jobs are under threat from the possibility of the UK leaving the European Customs Union. Doing so will mean that lorries that currently clear Kent ports in minutes will take 10 times as long. The ports will clog up, Kent roads will stack up, goods we buy and sell will be delayed and more expensive. Exemptions from customs charges will be lost. Jobs will be lost
People who voted to remain or leave the European Union on 23 June 2016 were not asked whether or they wanted to leave the Customs Union.
That is why, on Thursday (19/10/17) we will table a motion calling for Parliament to consider all options for Kent.
The motion reads as follows:
Kent, the Customs Union and Free Flowing Trade
Proposed by Mr Hook and seconded by Mr Bird
“This Council notes:
1. The high importance of cross Channel trade for Kent’s economy, a major part of which is around 11,000 lorries per day travelling through Dover and other Kent Ports, to or from other member states of the European Union;
2. The observations made by the Chancellor of Exchequer to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on 12 September that Dover “operates as a flow-through port and volumes of trade at Dover could not be accommodated if goods had to be held for inspection even, I suspect, if they were held for minutes, it would still impede the operation of the port.”
3. The finding that a lorry from within the EU typically takes 2 minutes to clear Customs at Dover and a lorry from outside the EU takes 20 minutes.
4. Whenever there is a problem with the free flow of freight through Dover and other Kent ports, serious disruption results to the travel and lives of residents all over the county.
This Council therefore believes that it is essential to the economic and social well-being of the people of Kent for our county to continue to enjoy free flowing trade across the Channel, at least as seamlessly as present due to the UK’s membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.
This Council calls for:
a. The UK government to take all necessary steps to ensure the continued free flow of cross channel freight between Kent and continental Europe, at least as seamlessly as present;
b. Parliament to consider all legal possibilities for Kent and the UK outside the EU, including retaining membership of the Single Market and/or Customs Union;
c. The Leader to write to the Prime Minister and Kent MPs setting out the action requested in this motion.”