The Transport Secretary said yesterday that there were no 11-mile traffic jams as predicted by critics, and less than one percent of vehicles had been arriving at crossings without the right paperwork. He said ports had seen a quieter-than-normal start to the year because companies had stockpiled products before the changes.
But he pointed out he had been studying the hourly flow at Kent and “it’s been picking up every single day of this year”.
Mr Shapps said: “We may well see busy times again, but actually at the moment the border is flowing and it’s flowing very smoothly.” He said that France was keen to see
He said: “When I speak to the French, they are telling me they are very, very keen to keep that border flowing very smoothly, not least because they sell more stuff to us than we sell to them, so it’s in their interest to do so.”
Meanwhile, parcel courier DPD has halted some road delivery services into Europe, including Ireland, because of pressure caused by post-Brexit red tape.
It said up to 20 percent of parcels had incorrect or incomplete data and had to be returned to customers. A statement from the company said: “In view of this unprecedented set of circumstances we believe that it is only right to pause and review our road service into Europe, including the Republic of Ireland.”
However, it said it plans to restart services on Wednesday.
Marks & Spencer has also warned that the new regulations would “significantly” affect its overseas ventures in Ireland, the Czech Republic and France.
Chief executive Steve Rowe said the UK-EU trade deal was causing problems with “potential tariffs on part of our range exported to the EU, together with very complex administrative processes”.