- Title: France preparing for worst scenario of 'no-deal' Brexit, minister says
- Date: 30th August 2019
- Summary: CALAIS, FRANCE (AUGUST 30, 2019) (REUTERS) BRITISH MINISTER IN CHARGE OF COORDINATING "NO-DEAL" BREXIT, MICHAEL GOVE, AND FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER IN CHARGE OF CUSTOMS, GERALD DARMANIN, ARRIVING WITH OFFICIALS VARIOUS OF GOVE, DARMANIN AND OFFICIALS ARRIVING OFFICIAL EXPLAINING FACILITY TO GOVE AND DARMANIN VARIOUS OF GOVE WALKING DURING VISIT GOVE OFFICIAL EXPLAINING FACILITY TO GOVE AND DARMANIN DURING VISIT DARMANIN AND GOVE WALKING PAST GOVE SPEAKING TO DARMANIN CALAIS FERRY TERMINAL (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER IN CHARGE OF CUSTOMS, GERALD DARMANIN, SAYING: "We are preparing for, as per the request of the prime minister (Edouard Philippe) and the president (Emmanuel Macron), a 'no-deal' Brexit, as if there would not be a deal with Britain, which is the scenario that appears to be the most probable today. We conducted recruitment - 700 customs officers were recruited, half of whom are located in Calais, Boulogne and other ports of the English Channel. We have agents from the Agriculture Ministry. We a have dual way of working for border police. We constructed this building in four months, and by the way, you can see the same type of buildings around the Eurotunnel. We built parking lots, an intelligent border. We are ready for a 'no-deal' Brexit." SIGN FOR CALAIS FERRY TERMINAL (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER IN CHARGE OF CUSTOMS, GERALD DARMANIN, SAYING: "We are not checking every single truck. Those who explain that there would be hundreds of kilometres of traffic jams are wrong because today, there are already checks between France and Britain. What would change are the paperwork checks. A big part of the work we are conducting at present is to explain that correctly to all businesses, especially the small and medium-sized companies, who export or import from the United Kingdom. We need a customs process." CALAIS FERRY TERMINAL (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH BUDGET MINISTER IN CHARGE OF CUSTOMS, GERALD DARMANIN, SAYING: "This (Calais facility) cost us 6 million euros. We didn't build facilities in Calais, but also around the tunnel. We renovated roads to make them more intelligent. And this does not only concern northern France. There have been facilities also in Le Havre, also in customs regions notably the Contentin coast and also in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, where I've been many times, and in La Rochelle. And the customs officers also act as border police in some airports. We still don't know what the total cost is. It will of course depend on whether or not we have a deal." GOVE SAYING GOODBYE TO DARMANIN, ENTERING CAR GOVE INSIDE CAR GOVE'S CAR LEAVING
- Embargoed: 13th September 2019 18:16
- Keywords: Gerald Darmanin Michael Gove France Britain Brexit Calais customs border checks
- Location: CALAIS, FRANCE
- City: CALAIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AUEVJ2F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: French Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin visited on Friday (August 30) a customs checks facility in Calais with British minister Michael Gove, who is in charge of coordinating a "no-deal" Brexit planning, as France readies to test run customs measures in the scenario of a hard Brexit.
Darmanin met with Gove on Friday to show how France is preparing for Britain's departure from the EU on Oct. 31.
For one month the French authorities will act as if there is a Brexit for companies to make sure they are ready by the end of October, Darmanin said.
"We are getting ready for the worst," he said. "We are preparing for a no-deal Brexit, which is the likeliest hypothesis as of today," he said.
Businesses have been warning of long tailbacks for lorries transporting goods between mainland Europe and Britain, and the British government has said most goods from the EU will be allowed into Britain without full customs checks for at least three months if there is a no deal Brexit.
Some 700 extra customs officers have been drafted in and authorities will also introduce online border declarations forcing companies to announce their goods prior to arriving at the border.
Darmanin guaranteed that long lines of trucks in traffic jams stuck at customs checks will not happen, adding that the main change would be paperwork to fill and new taxes to pay.
France is the EU's biggest agricultural producer and exports large amounts of wine, spirits and dairy products to Britain, while relying on its neighbour's waters to sustain its fishing industry.
(Production: Ardee Napolitano)
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