Almost every trucker in Britain is 'not ready for new Brexit border rules'

NEARLY every trucker in Britain is unprepared for Brexit and has no idea how to negotiate new border rules, a poll says.

The survey of hauliers reveals 96 per cent “are not ready” for January 1 — with one in four believing they have already lost business.

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It comes as lorry tailbacks build up near UK ports. The M20 has seen queues several miles long waiting to get to Dover in Kent as firms bring in goods at Christmas and stockpile for Brexit.

Import and export specialists reckon 50,000 more customs clearance staff will be needed at points of entry to help meet future demand.

According to the UK Hauliers Brexit Transition Deadline study, three in four firms believe the biggest change Brexit will bring will be increased waiting times at borders. Two thirds reckon they will have to spend more time on admin.

The Hauliers Exchange poll also reveals that 84 per cent of firms are calling on the Government for more clarity on what changes they can expect at borders.

Supply chain expert Sam Tyagi said: “It’s abundantly obvious that . . . there aren’t enough staff employed at UK borders to handle the increase in workload brought about by Brexit.

“UK borders are short-handed to the tune of about 50,000 staff. There will also be an anticipated fivefold increase in customs entries leading to as many as 200million extra a year.”

Mr Tyagi, boss of KlearNow, a customs clearance and management platform, added: “Our fear is that this will quickly lead to a two-tier system.

“It would see priority given to larger importers who spend more on landing their goods at the expense of smaller businesses and their customers.”

Port of Dover boss Doug Bannister said there was “significant uncertainty” over how prepared companies were for a No Deal Brexit.

He said: “We are a fortnight away from this momentous transition and so everything is going to come right down to the wire.”

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