Cash to help with Brexit impact on ports and airports across region

Britain's busiest container port, Felixstowe Picture: MIKE PAGE / COURTESY OF THE PORT OF FELIXSTOWE

Britain's busiest container port, Felixstowe Picture: MIKE PAGE / COURTESY OF THE PORT OF FELIXSTOWE - Credit: Archant

Councils in Suffolk and Essex have been given grant aid to help them cope with the impact of Brexit.

The Port of Felixstowe Picture: HUTCHISON PORTS UK

The Port of Felixstowe Picture: HUTCHISON PORTS UK - Credit: Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited

Tendring and Uttlesford councils in Essex, which have Harwich port and Stansted airport on their patches, and Suffolk Coastal, which has the Port of Felixstowe in its boundary, will each receive £136,362.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council said: “This extra funding is very welcome and we will liaise with the Port of Felixstowe and our other partners locally to ensure the money is well used.

“It is too early to state exactly what the money will be spent on at this stage.

“However, we have been working closely with government departments including Defra and the Department for Exiting the EU along with the Food Standards Agency to help with contingency planning for a no deal Brexit.

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“Meetings started some two years ago to help central government understanding of the processes at Port Health and the implications of exiting the EU.

“Over the last six months that work has intensified as we’ve started to plan for the possibility of a hard Brexit and have been meeting with the port and ferry operators to discuss and plan for that eventuality.”

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Suffolk Coastal operates the inspection facility for handling food products that come into Britain through the Port of Felixstowe to ensure they are safe for public consumption.

While around 80% of the trade through Felixstowe arrives from outside the EU, existing public and animal health controls over goods will remain unchanged.

The spokesman added: “As such, we do not anticipate a significant impact for our Port Health service at Felixstowe. There is likely to be a small increase in DFDs ferry traffic from the EU and we are working closely with the Port of Felixstowe and the ferry operator to ensure that we are prepared.

“As far as traffic impacts are concerned the Suffolk Resilience Forum is looking at the wider impacts of Brexit and we already have tried and tested arrangements in place for managing any disruption to traffic flow onto the port through Operation Stack.”

Secretary of state James Brokenshire said: “This additional funding will support those authorities to plan and better mitigate against potential disruptions once we have exited the EU.”

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