Chicks exported to the EU will die unless they can be rushed through the chaos expected at UK ports next year, the government has admitted.
A new document warns that Brexit will bring up to 10 months of disruption, with emergency traffic control measures in Kent to last until “the end of October 2021”.
It admits a 27-acre “clearance centre” being built near Ashford – which Michael Gove denied would become a giant lorry park – will, in fact, hold around 2,000 trucks.
And it raises fears for live products which lose up to 60 per cent of their value if they fail to reach EU destinations “within 1 to 2 days” – in particular day-old chicks.
“They cannot be fed in their vehicle, and delays risk dehydration and mortality,” the document, published by transport secretary Grant Shapps, states.
It comes after the government advised medicine suppliers to begin stockpiling again, by building up six weeks’ worth of drugs for the end of the year.
The emergency traffic measures are needed because the controls brought in for port approach roads last year – called Operation Brock – lapsed at the end of 2019.