Hollingbourne MP votes against Government motion ruling out “no deal Brexit” – UPDATED.

Faversham and Kent MP Mrs Helen Whately which includes Hollingbourne yesterday voted against the Government motion to rule out a “no deal Brexit”. This was carried by 312 votes to 308.

She also voted for the defeated Malthouse amendment to delay Brexit until 22nd May when the UK would leave the EU without a deal. The voting was 164 for and 374 against.

Mrs Whately subsequently voted against the carried Cooper amendment ruling leaving the EU without a deal at any time.  This was carried by 321 votes to 278.

Mrs Whately’s voting recent voting record on Brexit is at http://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/local-mps-voting-record-on-brexit/

UPDATE as of 14th March – Mrs Whately voted against the motion to request the EU for a delay in implementing Brexit. The motion was carried by 413 votes to 201. 

A no deal Brexit has particular concerns for Kent and for Hollingbourne in particular because the M20 from Junction 8 at Hollingbourne to Junction 9 in Ashford will be used to store 2000 lorries awaiting Customs at Dover and Eurotunnel if and when the UK leaves the Customs Union. Although it is planned to use the London bound side for traffic in both directions, any problems on the motorway will create issues on the A20 with tailbacks into Hollingbourne and other villages.

Yesterday Operation Stack was actioned because of Storm Gareth weather problems at Dover and lorries are being stored on the M20. In the event the London bound side of the M20 was not used for traffic in both directions with the result that the A20 has been jammed. This morning traffic is queuing back into Eyhorne Street as pictured below. After Brexit the traffic management arrangements will be known as Operation Brock.

A number of residents have complained to Hollingbourne Parish Council about today’s traffic problems in the village and the matter has been referred to Kent County Council. There were a number of reports of delays including one person who stated that it took 45 minutes to get out of Hollingbourne. Nu Venture buses also reported that they were considering the suspension of the number 13 bus service between Hollingbourne and Maidstone.

The A20, M20, HS1, and railway through Hollingbourne is a major transport corridor connecting the UK with the EU. Around a fifth of the UK’s trade in goods passes through Hollingbourne and any delays will result in problems for sectors which rely on JIT deliveries such as the car industry and the food and drink sectors.

Mrs Whately can be contacted at helen.whately.mp@parliament.uk

Pictured below is traffic in the Eyhorne Street Conservation Area some distance from the A20 queueing because of traffic problems caused by Operation Stack.

Traffic in Eyhorne Street caused by Operation Stack in March 2019.