Eurotunnel is ready for Brexit, it told investors today, as it aimed to quell fears that there could be disruption to the key trade route.
Around 5,000 trucks use the Channel Tunnel every day and the Paris-listed company has introduced a two-lane system for trucks post-Brexit.
The system will see customs officials carry out checks on each side of the Channel at its Folkestone and Coquelles terminals.
Two so-called pit stops – one at each side of the tunnel – will allow Eurotunnel to check 20 trucks “in just a few short minutes”.
Those declared fine to cross will travel along a so-called green route, while officials can direct trucks down an orange route for more checks.
Meanwhile Eurotunnel has built a 240-space car park for trucks in France, and a customs and sanitary control zone in the Coquelles terminal with nine inspection bays and 100 parking spaces.
That will allow French authorities to check UK-sourced goods “without disrupting through-traffic”, Eurotunnel said.
It is also recruiting customs support roles “to help drivers get their paperwork in order for the controls”.
The 22m passengers a year who take Shuttle and Eurostar services between UK and France will be unaffected, Eurotunnel said.
Around £130bn of goods are transported through the Channel Tunnel each year, representing 26 per cent of UK-EU trade, according to Eurotunnel.
“Following the visit by the two French and British ministers today, Michael Gove and Gerald Darmanin, Eurotunnel is ready for Brexit no matter the outcome on 31 October,” the firm said.
Gove yesterday began a £100m no-deal Brexit advertising campaign urging people to “get ready for Brexit”.
The media blast started with a website – gov.uk/brexit – and will get underway with billboard and social media adverts this week. The government will launch TV adverts later this month.
Gove yesterday denied that a no-deal Brexit would result in food shortages.