Brexit revenge plot: UK braces for border chaos as Macron 'reads riot act'- ...

BRITAIN is bracing for border chaos next week as French President Emmanuel Macron is poised to toughen customs controls from Monday, according to a leaked phone call.

PUBLISHED: 13:00, Fri, Jan 8, 2021 | UPDATED: 13:12, Fri, Jan 8, 2021

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Brexit: Grant Shapps says border is ‘flowing very smoothly’

UK hauliers have been warned tougher customs controls will be implemented from Monday, prompting fears of significant disruption at the borders. French officials are expected to ramp up checks after lorries arriving from the UK were found not to be fully compliant with EU trade rules, particularly on phytosanitary (SPS) controls on agrifoods.

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The warnings were made during two conference calls between British industry bodies and UK Government agencies on Thursday, according to the Financial Times.

The paper reports the French had “read the riot act” to port and ferry operations after initial checks showed the vast majority of lorries arriving from the UK breached EU trade rules.

As a result UK trade groups and senior Whitehall officials are braced for “more rigorous checks” next week.

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One senior UK official said the government was “holding its breath” for more significant disruption at British ports in the coming days.

brexit latest news emmanuel macron france borderBrexit latest: Britain is bracing for border chaos next week (Image: PA)

brexit latest news dover portUK hauliers have been warned tougher customs controls will be implemented from Monday (Image: Getty)

They told the newspaper: “We’re going to start seeing a crystallisation in the next couple of days of the pressures building up.”

Since the EU transition period ended on December 31, the borders have seen little disruption.

This is in part due to a decline in lorry traffic between Dover and Calais, with the route running at just 50 percent of normal January volumes.

But Rod McKenzie, of the Road Haulage Association, warned the low volumes were the “lull before the storm”.

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