Local MP votes to block Parliament’s ability to stop a no deal Brexit.

Faversham and Kent MP, Mrs Helen Whately today voted against the Opposition motion to secure parliamentary time on 25th June for a motion relating to Brexit. Despite support from all parties the motion was defeated by 309 votes to 298. It was intended to be the first stage in a series of votes to give Parliament a say in any final deal that the new Prime Minister may strike with the EU and to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 31st October 2019.

The risk to Hollingbourne in particular of a “no deal” Brexit is a permanent Operation Brock situation where the M20 coastbound from Junction 8 in Hollingbourne¬† to Junction 9 in Ashford will be used for storing 2000 lorries awaiting Customs at Dover and Eurotunnel because the UK will leave the EU Customs Union. The London bound side has already been made into a contraflow system with a 50 mph speed limit and there have been many complaints about traffic problems including a number of accidents.¬† There is likely to be an environmental impact as there will be no facilities for stranded drivers according to Highways England.

A BBC reporter who visited Hollingbourne in March before the previously scheduled departure from the EU on 29th March described Hollingbourne as “ground zero” for Brexit. Over the last few months a number of media organisations including Channel 4 and Sky News have visited Hollingbourne.

Kent County Council and many others have expressed concern about the possibility of Kent being turned into a giant lorry park for vehicles awaiting Customs. Another local issue is that EHIC cards will no longer be valid which means that Kent residents needing medical treatment will no longer be able to go to France for surgery when there are problems with the NHS in Kent.

Pictured below (top) is Mrs Whately and (bottom) is the M20 at Hollingbourne..

Mrs Helen Whately, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent including Hollingbourne – April 2019.

 

The view towards Junction 8 with the lorry storage area on the right – March 2019.

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