30 Jan 2019

Port of Dover boss: Government has given no ‘firm direction’ over border security checks

Business Editor

In an interview with Channel 4 News, the port’s CEO said: “We still don’t have firm direction on really what is going to be required… It comes down to how they want to treat the border.”

The head of the Port of Dover says the government has given no “firm direction” on technology for additional security checks, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Doug Bannister, the new Chief Exec of Europe’s busiest ferry port, told Channel 4 News: “We haven’t got any physical comfort. We haven’t seen increased manpower, we haven’t seen any new systems or processes.

“For us, the most important thing is what are the physical checks on the dock. If those are minimal, then we can maintain operations. If a hard border therefore means that we have to do physical checks on the docks within our estate, then that is going to create a lot of problems for us.”

In the interview, to be broadcast tonight at 7pm, Doug Bannister also tells Channel 4 News that the government have yet to tell him that this will not be the case.

He says: “It does seem to me to be a very huge task to get it all in, tested and operational before the 29th of March. It comes down to how they want to treat the border.

“So far – while we know the guys and gals across government are working really, really hard on putting programmes in place and getting an understanding and not just in the United Kingdom but also in the European Union as well, about how this is all working – we still don’t have firm direction on really what is going to be required.”