No Deal chaos could see Soviet-era food shortages as Ministers ration space on ferries

No Deal chaos could see Soviet-era food shortages as Ministers ration space on ferries

Government sources yesterday claimed Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Cabinet colleagues were drawing up a list of goods to be given priority on the Calais-Dover route in case of severe blockages after March 29.

Medicines, vital foodstuff and chemicals for treating water would be top priority – along with car parts.

But perishable goods such as lettuce, meat and veg could lose out.

One DfT official told the FT: “Perishable goods won’t make it onto ‘DfT Seaways’. Some foods will run out in the supermarkets.

“It will be like the USSR.”

The Transport Secretary has told Ministers that trade on the Calais-Dover route could be cut by 87 per cent in the event of a disorderly Brexit where France reintroduces customs controls and checks.

Mr Grayling also wants to increase the capacity at three ports with the EU but with longer journey times – Ramsgate, Sheerness and Immingham.

The Sun two months ago revealed Ministers were drawing up plans to take control of ten cross-Channel ferries for a year – at a cost of up to £75 million – to bypass Calais in the event of a No Deal.

Under the plans, Ministers would be able to choose which ports they sailed to and which trucks sailed on them.

Ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab this autumn warned France could go on a “go slow” to trigger chaos in the event of a No Deal.

The DfT said it was certain the PM’s deal would “keep freight moving” and protect international trade.

But a spokesman said: “As a responsible government we continue to work closely with a range of partners on contingency plans to ensure that trade can continue to move as freely as possible between the UK and Europe.”

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