About This Source - Bloomberg QuickTake: Now
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Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “English Villagers Wake Up to Find New Brexit Checkpoint at Their Doorsteps” – below is their description.
(AP) Four years after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Brexit can still seem abstract. But in the county known as the Garden of England, it is literally taking concrete form. Just beyond the ancient oaks and yews that surround medieval St. Mary’s Church in the village of Sevington, bulldozers, dump trucks and cement mixers swarm noisily over a field. They are chewing up land to create part of Britain’s new border with the European Union – a customs clearance depot with room for up to 2,000 trucks. No one asked local people for permission, and even in this Brexit-backing area, the disruption is straining support for the U.K.’s rupture with the EU. “The first anyone knew about it was when a sign went up saying the footpaths had been closed,” said Sharon Swandale, whose home in the village of Mersham used to be a 20-minute walk from Sevington. Closure of the path for construction work means it’s now an almost 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) drive. This county, Kent, voted by 60%-40% to leave the EU in Britain’s 2016 referendum, but Swandale said visions of truck stops and customs depots were not uppermost in their minds. “That was never part of the actual selling and the marketing for Brexit,” she said. The two prosperous villages of Sevington and Mersham are 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the Channel Tunnel to France and 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Britain’s biggest ferry port at Dover. Between them, the two routes carry 4 million trucks a year, filled with food and all manner of other essential items. Those goods moved back and forth freely while Britain was part of the EU’s single market and customs union. The U.K. left the bloc’s political structures in January, and will make an economic break when a transition period ends Dec. 31. That means Britain must erect a customs border with the 27-nation EU, its biggest trading partner. Opponents of Brexit say that is a waste of money and effort that will hurt businesses on both sides. For supporters, it’s all part of taking back control of the country’s borders and trade. But everyone agrees it means new red tape, with the need for customs declarations and inspections. If the U.K. and the EU fail to strike a free trade deal before the end of the year, tariffs will be slapped on many goods, bringing more disruption, bureaucracy and expense. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government has been reluctant to disclose details of its border plans. But last month the government admitted its “reasonable worst-case scenario” involved “7,000 port-bound trucks in Kent and associated maximum delays of up to two days.” The government’s plans for limiting the disruption include converting parts of a highway into a temporary parking lot for trucks, and imposing a “Kent access pass” – essentially a passport that truckers heading for the EU must have to enter Kent from other parts of Britain. The Sevington site is intended for customs checks, and could also be a “temporary traffic management facility” – a parking lot – for trucks if there are border delays, the government says. The 27-acre field is one of 10 sites around the country earmarked for potential border infrastructure, under powers the government has given itself to buy and build without consulting local authorities or residents first. Sevington and Mersham are ancient settlements, mentioned in the 1086 census known as the Domesday Book, but the residents can’t be called NIMBYs (people who object to building something unpleasant in their neighbourhood) who reject modern life.Bloomberg QuickTake: Now YouTube Channel
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In This Story: Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British politician, writer, and former journalist, who has served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2019. He was Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.
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In This Story: Brexit
Brexit is the name given to the United Kingdom’s exiting the European Union, which happened on 31 January 2020, following a narrow “Leave” referendum result in a June 2016 vote on EU Membership which took place in the country. News items related to Brexit are posted, below, chronologically, with the most recent items at the top, from a variety of outlets.