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DUNKERQUE: March 17, 2018. The UK transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said Britain will retain a “free-flowing” border at Dover after leaving the EU with no additional checks on truck traffic that carry trade valued at £120 billion through the port each year.

Dunkerque extensionWith Britain's planned exit from the EU just 12 months away, freight traffic has risen 25 percent between Dover and Calais/Dunkerque in the past four years with Dover setting a record of 10,500 vehicles handled in one day last year.

Grayling was responding to Calais port head Jean-Marc Puissesseau who recently warned Members of the European Parliament that Britain's withdrawal from the Customs Union and Single Market would lead inevitably to 30-mile tailbacks and rotting food on both sides of the Channel.

"We don't check lorries now, we're not going to be checking lorries in the future,” declared the Brexit-supporting Conservative minister who has yet to explain what legal instrument Britain is proposing to replace the current system.

Last year, Dunkerque, Calais and Boulogne became the first French port cluster to handle collectively over 100 million tonnes. Which is why Dunkerque (above) is busy extending its Flanders container terminal in a bid to handle two Ultra-Large container vessels simultaneously at any tide level.

Flanders Terminal traffic has risen from 200,000 to 375,000 TEU per year since 2010. Completion of the extension is expected by the end of 2018 at cost of €64.1 million.

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