THE mutant Covid border shutdown has proved Britain is ready for a No Deal Brexit, Grant Shapps insists.
The Transport Secretary says work on emergency plans in the light of trade talks collapsing had been “brought forward by a few weeks”.
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Grant Shapps insisted the border shutdown proves Britain is ready for a No Deal Brexit[/caption]
He claimed 500 backed-up lorries in Dover had been whittled down to 170 in 24 hours[/caption]
And heaping pressure on Brussels to climb down in negotiations, Mr Shapps added this had helped avoid significant chaos with the French travel ban.
He claimed 500 backed-up lorries in Dover, Kent, had been whittled down to 170 in 24 hours, with measures to control overflow working smoothly — though industry officials disputed this.
Mr Shapps said: “Some of the reason we are not seeing big problems in Kent is because work going on for very many months, years even, is coming to fruition — a little earlier than anticipated.
“To a large extent, it shows we are ready.”
Yet last night, hopes of a trade deal soared amid claims the EU had reduced demands for a fishing transition period from ten years to five.
Work going on for very many months is coming to fruition. To a large extent, it shows we are ready.
It is understood Brussels could settle on around a 35 per cent reduction in quotas — a £140million per year boost to UK fishing.
Earlier, Boris Johnson had shot down demands to extend the transition period past the end of the year.
He was backed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who claimed: “I don’t want an extension, I want a deal.”
SNP chief Nicola Sturgeon, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and some Tory MPs said Brexit should be delayed due to Covid.
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They want the UK kept in the EU’s single market and customs union until the end of March.
But the idea was dismissed by officials, who said a delay would be pointless if legally possible.
The EU would rather negotiate right up to December 30 and sign off a deal via email if necessary.
Boris Johnson previously shot down demands to extend the transition period[/caption]
Nicola Sturgeon and some Tory MPs said Brexit should be delayed due to Covid[/caption]
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