back to article Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April

A UK government system to avoid miles of road traffic congestion in the county of Kent as the Brexit transition period comes to an end will rely on software which is not yet in its beta version. Following the announcement this week that the government would introduce Kent Access Permits to ensure heavy goods vehicles …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    effective and simple to use

    Just enter your 20digit UK issued exportor ID where it says exporter (except where you need to enter your different 20digit EU issued ID) and the 18digit tarrif code for each item in the load in the single box provided and the government will write to you with 28days with an error message

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: effective and simple to use

      That's so last century ... they'll send you a shonky[*] QR code instead, they seem to be all the rage ATM.

      But hey, the flag shaggers will be happy - they've taken back control, after all.

      [*] - see here ( https://www.revk.uk/2020/09/how-not-to-qr-nhs-c19-app.html )

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: effective and simple to use

        > how not to

        Thanks for that link. I'd seen the QR examples on the news and my first thought was why on Earth are they so big?

        And now I know, although perhaps I wish I didn't. :-(

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: effective and simple to use

        " they've taken back control, after all."

        Taken back control of what exactly?

        This particular item looks as though the control is to produce a throttling of trade, what is the point of preventing trucks entering Kent when what is really needed is a method to get them all on their way faster.Preventing them from getting to where they need to be will screw up trade and if they are not delivering goods to Europe or bringing goods back in will lead either to shortages or people looking elsewhere.

        At virtually every step, regardless of whether or not it is related to Brexit, the UK government (left, right or centre) seems to concentrate on poorly thought out mitigations to problems that they should not have caused in the first place.

        'Now the customs have to check trucks leaving and entering the UK, what do we do?'

        Nothing to improve the functionality of the customs that would cost money and involve critical thinking, no just throw a dysfunctional online form filling exercise at everyone and claim it as a solution.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: effective and simple to use

          At virtually every step, regardless of whether or not it is related to Brexit, the UK government (left, right or centre) seems to concentrate on poorly thought out mitigations to problems that they should not have caused in the first place.

          This is not unique to the UK government.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: effective and simple to use

          "This particular item looks as though the control is to produce a throttling of trade, what is the point of preventing trucks entering Kent "

          According to the Brexiteer interviewed in the Express, this is supposed to put pressure on the EU to "force a deal", without giving any reason as to how having a border in Kent would put pressure on the EU (and not the UK). Laugh is that the no-deal Brexiteer's won't like whatever is in the deal and will vote it down regardless just to keep face.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: effective and simple to use

            @Roland6

            "this is supposed to put pressure on the EU to "force a deal", without giving any reason as to how having a border in Kent would put pressure on the EU"

            I assume their thinking is that the EU wont get what they need as fast from the UK. I dont agree with that thinking btw just expect thats what they had in mind. Instead the EU business would probably buy from somewhere else if its that big a problem.

      3. Kimo
        Boffin

        Re: effective and simple to use

        They can store the QR codes in the cloud using blockchain for maximum buzzword density.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: effective and simple to use

          it won't work until you equip the lorries with 5G IoT devices

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: effective and simple to use

          You are Dominic Cummings AICMFP.

          And my job in the Cabinet Office as I think SQL is an analytical language.

    2. Stumpy
      Trollface

      Re: effective and simple to use

      Ah, it sounds like it's an SAP implementation then...

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      So Farage Garage will open on time.

      Excellent.

  2. Chloe Cresswell

    What's in a name...

    They might be officially KAPs, but I bet they end up referred to as Kermits. Although that set of Muppets would probably have it working on time.

    1. Steve Foster
      Happy

      Re: What's in a name...

      Kermits. Very good. Have an upvote.

      1. very angry man

        Re: What's in a name...

        we just need to get an r in there

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

          Re: What's in a name...

          Kent Road Access Pass?

          1. CrazyOldCatMan

            Re: What's in a name...

            Kent

            And a version for Southampton, Harwich, Plymouth, Fisgard..

            Is it just me or is it odd that they are focussing on Kent and seem to be utterly ignoring the other ports? Some of them have a throughput somewhat equivalent to Dover..

            1. christooo

              Re: What's in a name...

              Exactly. Dover has the 9th largest passage of cargo in the UK, of its 120 commercial ports. Immingham takes more than twice its import from Europe. Dover is more a passenger ferry port with some cargo reflected in its being the busiest one.The other ports on the east/ south coast in total take far more than Dover. Playing games I suppose.!

    2. Commswonk

      Re: What's in a name...

      On the plus side at least this grandiose idea hasn't got the words "world - beating" anywhere near it. Perhaps that particular penny has dropped at last... hopefully for ever.

      1. Ian Mason

        Re: What's in a name...

        I think they normally use "world beating" in the same sense as "child beating". i.e. deeply wrong...

    3. Nunyabiznes

      Re: What's in a name...

      Upvote, but I bet there are several adjectives added that can't be said on the evening news.

    4. Outski Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name...

      They've been referred to as kermits here in RoK (Republic of Kent) and elsewhere since the announcement was made

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: What's in a name...

        here in RoK (Republic of Kent)

        You mean the EUB (European Union Bridgehead).

    5. Teiwaz

      Re: What's in a name...

      We aught to replace the entire gov. with Doozers.

    6. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name...

      Although that set of Muppets would probably have it working on time.

      No, it won't because some Fonzie Bear is going to insist on implementing AGILE.

      No one will have the guts to go "Miss Piggy" and go "I want this done NOW!" <Karate chop!>

      1. The obvious

        Re: What's in a name...

        Dr Bunsen & Beaker would probably knock it out in an afternoon!

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: What's in a name...

          I want to see a website explode and leave scorched eyebrows

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What's in a name...

            Don't give them ideas!

      2. sniperpaddy

        Re: What's in a name...

        Priti Piggy ?

    7. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: What's in a name...

      end up referred to as Kermits

      I prefer zmodem myself..

  3. Richard Boyce

    More queues?

    We have semi-organised facilities for queuing traffic inside Kent. Do we now need similar facilities just outside Kent for lorries to use until they have permission to join the queues inside Kent?

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: More queues?

      Exactly my first thought:

      there won't be queues in Kent, but there'll be queue's to get in, with a bunch of drivers setting off on the basis their HQ will have sorted the permit by the time they get there, only for it all to fail because Matt Hancock was brought in as a Digital-Things-Consultant and advised them they could save a fortune by running the whole thing on a couple of secondhand Raspberry Pi Model B's he had in his schoolba.... briefcase.

      Generally, the Govt isn't great at getting software right even when they've taken years over it. There's no way this shower of incompetents is going to get it right by April, much less months before (when it's actually needed)

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: More queues?

        There's no way this shower of incompetents is going to get it right by April

        I'd say the first of that month will be their day, already appropriately named.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: More queues?

        "Generally, the Govt isn't great at getting software right even when they've taken years over it. There's no way this shower of incompetents is going to get it right by April, much less months before (when it's actually needed)"

        Shirley all they have to do is an agile sprint through the waterfall and straight into the scrum and roberts your dads brother! Slap a QR sticker on it and rush to market with it. The QA team, ie the end users, will be only too happy to help out with any minor issues.

    2. FatGerman

      Re: More queues?

      Yeah. All they've done is moved the EU border into Essex. That'll go down well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More queues?

        > Yeah. All they've done is moved the EU border into Essex. That'll go down well.

        But it's not in the middle of the Irish Sea and that's all that matters. (Apparently) :-)

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: More queues?

      Don't forget the facilities at the bottom of the M1 to get onto the M25 to get to the queue to get into Kent.

      Next up: Watford Gap.

      1. AW-S

        Re: More queues?

        Why don't they give clearance BEFORE the lorry leaves its depot? That is akin to how flights are programmed.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: More queues?

          How long do you think it will take before the depots are blocked by lorries not leaving?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: More queues?

            Oh fuck. This is not going well.

            Ok, let's try it the other way. Let's deport all the Brexiters, we could dump them in Syria to widen their horizons. Then, with them out of the way, we could rejoin the EU and join Schengen and get our country back.

            It can only get better because we will have removed the old, retired (ie deadweight) racist Brexiters.

            What's not to like?

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: More queues?

              >It can only get better because...

              it would remove 17m and thus greatly facilitate social distancing...

            2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "It can only get better because we will have removed the old, retired (ie deadweight)

              racist Brexiters."

              Actually a fair number of them have died over the last 4 years.

              In fact it's estimated the majority that gave this farce legs died by early 2018.

              I imagine C19 has picked off quite a few more.

              1. Slef

                Re: "It can only get better because we will have removed the old, retired (ie deadweight)

                @JohnSmith19 wrote "I imagine C19 has picked off quite a few more." For a minute I thought the professionals were involved, but then I remembered they were CI5....never mind it is an age thing!

                1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                  Unhappy

                  "For a minute I thought the professionals were involved, "

                  Don't worry.

                  In time people will be scratching heads thinking "C19, what was that?"

                  Compared to Ebola (77-93% mortality) 1% is frankly not that serious.

                  Until you consider it's more than doubling the UK annual death rate.

                  The problem is there is no test to find out which 1% it would kill outright.

                  Now if only such a test existed......

                  1. sniperpaddy

                    Re: "For a minute I thought the professionals were involved, "

                    That's GSG-9, softies, compared to C-19

                  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                    Unhappy

                    "Now if only such a test existed......"

                    I mean of course that then people know they really had to self-isolate or (literally) die. :-(

                    But that leaves the other 99% of the population (and most of normal life) to return to, well, normal.

                    Which from a ruthlessly economic point of view would be quite a good thing. People could catch it and that would be OK. Herd immunity develops without the death rate to go with it.

                    Sadly I know of no one actually going with this approach.

              2. christooo

                Re: "It can only get better because we will have removed the old, retired (ie deadweight)

                Await your turn.. God is watching you too! Beware!

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: More queues?

              CUNT !

              1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                Re: More queues?

                @AC: what eloquence! Detailed, informative, and clear. The post you refer to is obvious, and the nature of your comment leaves no doubt ast to your point of view. Well done!

              2. VulcanV5

                Tst tst, language

                Why don't you get the truck out of here??

    4. Anonymous John

      Re: More queues?

      "Surrey to introduce new permit scheme to avoid queues at Kent border"

      https://newsthump.com/2020/09/24/surrey-to-introduce-new-permit-scheme-to-avoid-queues-at-kent-border/

      1. Hollerithevo

        Re: More queues?

        I had not heard of Newsthump, and read not only this article but the Blitz Hoax one, and laughed myself silly.

        1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Silver badge

          Re: More queues?

          Hadn't heard of them either. Now on the "must read" list as it reminds me of a certain Rockall based publication from a while back.

          Some good tee shirts too. Shame the weather's changed to "only geordies wear us now".

    5. Stumpy

      Re: More queues?

      Isn't that particular car park called the M25?

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: Isn't that particular car park called the M25?

        That's the ideal solution from the government's point of view..

        Use the M25 for the queues - one clockwise, and the other counter clockwise. Lorries are filtered off the queues at random to head for Dover.

        No lorry park as the lorries are all moving.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Isn't that particular car park called the M25?

          Wasn't that the basic plot for a Dr Who episode?

          1. Stumpy

            Re: Isn't that particular car park called the M25?

            It's also one of the integral plot points in Good Omens I think.

            Crowley would be proud.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Isn't that particular car park called the M25?

              Indeed. Could it be that Chris Grayling/Dido/Hancock/Williamson < insert name here > really wasn't that incompetent and just acting under instructions from a lower power?

              1. MJI Silver badge

                Re: Isn't that particular car park called the M25?

                Obvious isn't it.

                Which one has a spider overlord?

    6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: More queues?

      That's what the rest of the M.25 was built for. Get with the programme. There is space there for a few million trucks.

      We'll need it (and the french will need to use the whole of the A26) while an army of Civil Servants manually. type out all import and export forms. Average wait? 10 weeks. That should make the EU really pissed off so that they'll start a trade war with us. Zero imports from the UK and zero exports.

      We are well and truly FSCK'd

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More queues?

        There's an easy fix:

        Joining the EU

        Becoming a member of the EU is a complex procedure which does not happen overnight. Once an applicant country meets the conditions for membership, it must implement EU rules and regulations in all areas.

        Any country that satisfies the conditions for membership can apply. These conditions are known as the ‘Copenhagen criteria’ and include a free-market economy, a stable democracy and the rule of law, and the acceptance of all EU legislation, including of the euro.

        A country wishing to join the EU submits a membership application to the Council, which asks the Commission to assess the applicant’s ability to meet the Copenhagen criteria. If the Commission’s opinion is positive, the Council must then agree upon a negotiating mandate. Negotiations are then formally opened on a subject-by-subject basis.

        Due to the huge volume of EU rules and regulations each candidate country must adopt as national law, the negotiations take time to complete. The candidates are supported financially, administratively and technically during this pre-accession period.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: More queues?

          "and the rule of law"

          Does this still allow breaking international law under certain limited and specific circumstances?

          1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: More queues?

            Yes, the specific circumstances being: do not get caught

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: More queues?

            Ah bless. There's somebody here who still thinks BoJo & the other clowns are doing a good job.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More queues?

          Aren't new entrant also required to adhere to the Euro?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: More queues?

      We have semi-organised facilities for queuing traffic inside Kent. Do we now need similar facilities just outside Kent for lorries to use until they have permission to join the queues inside Kent?

      Yes, but you will need a Surrey Access Permit to get to them. Surrey roads can't cope with thousands of lorries lacking the correct documentation for entry into Kent.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: More queues?

        Yeah, the queues will stretch to Leatherhead -->

  4. katrinab Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The other question

    What about lorry drivers taking goods to destinations within Kent? The proposed Kent border control system doesn't appear to be geared up for that.

    What about deliveries between Essex and Sussex? The most obvious route is the M25, which goes through Kent between the Dartford Crossing and Clacket Lane Service Station.

    Also, having border checkpoints on the M25 is going to mess up traffic in the whole of the South East of England.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The other question

      I was wondering about that - and how queues at the county borders will be better than a queue at the port. Someone has already suggested a new name for the Kent Permit - but it gives the Muppets a bad name. Even Gonzo had more forethought that the current load supposedly in charge.

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: The other question

      My understanding from some other news articles is that there isn't going to be a checkpoint at the Kent border, it's going to be more like the congestion charge system, there will be ANPR camera's etc, and if a lorry recorded crossing into Kent turns up at the national border without said kermit, they will be kindly told to fuck off (probably with a fine).

      Lorries that enter Kent but do not end up at the national border crossing will be fine.

      Or so I've heard. With Mr. U-turn at the helm, who knows what the fuck they'll end up doing.

      1. Fonant

        Re: The other question

        Yes, it only makes sense if there's a penalty issued at the border or very near to it. Otherwise who knows which lorries are going to Kent, and which to France?

        Of course there will still be a queue to get to the border, and quite possibly a queue to get to the Kermit checkpoint. So companies will be tempted to send the lorry off anyway, and then apply for the Kermit while the lorry is travelling to Kent.

        Unless HM Gov is going to have a list of lorry number plates that are deemed "international transport"?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: The other question

          What about exporters in Kent?

          Are they exempt from the 'entering Kent' permit

          Are they unable to get a permit and so banned from exporting?

          Do they have to get a permit, drive out of Kent to queue up to get back into Kent to join the queue for Dover?

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: The other question

            It could lead to more violence from the KLF (Kent Liberation Front), who last fired a machine gun in London in 1992.

            1. old_iron

              Re: The other question

              I think you'll find that was the People's Kent Liberation Front...

              or was it the People's Popular Kent Liberation Front?

          2. Spiracle

            Re: The other question

            Do they have to get a permit, drive out of Kent to queue up to get back into Kent to join the queue for Dover?

            They simply need to take a Kent Re-entry Access Permit.

        2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: The other question

          Unless HM Gov is going to have a list of lorry number plates that are deemed "international transport"?

          Not exactly a list but a nice set: Lorries with non-UK number plates driving through Kent to the border.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: The other question

            Here's a second upvote for distinguishing between list and set.

        3. AndyD 8-)&#8377;

          Re: The other question

          .....Unless HM Gov is going to have a list of lorry number plates that are deemed "international transport"?...

          they could have special plates to identify them - some acronym like ... TIR?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The other question

      "What about lorry drivers taking goods to destinations within Kent?"

      Two lorries meet up back to back at either side of the border and transfer the goods from one to the other, then return to their respective counties.

      Alternatively I'm sure there are a few back roads that can be used as was the arrangement between RoI & NI. Even better if you can find a farm that actually straddles the border.

  5. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    7000

    And when those 7000 trucks do all have their KAP and are allowed into Kent, somehow miraculously the queue doesn't appear?

    Granted KAP might speed up the customs checks a bit, but 7000 delayed even slightly has a huge knock on effect.

    1. Fonant

      Re: 7000

      Let alone the other lorries who haven't quite got their Kemits yet, hiding away anywhere they can find until the notification comes through...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    This is not going to end well, is it?

    See title.

  7. Dippywood

    ...won't be finished until April...

    Which year?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: ...won't be finished until April...

      The year it becomes obvious what a balls-up the whole idea was and we start negotiating to get back in - which undoubtedly will be the end of the £.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: ...won't be finished until April...

        England can forget getting back in, Scotland and Northern Ireland may have a chance but Ukrain and Turkey will be admitted before England.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ...won't be finished until April...

          Northern Ireland doesn't just have a "chance". They'll be back in the EU within 5 years.

          All they have to do is leave the UK, and it's a done deal for them.

          Maybe Ireland will let Scotland join them too.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: ...won't be finished until April...

            I've said before that a Celtic Federation is the way to go ...

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: ...won't be finished until April...

          >England can forget getting back in

          Well on its own, but I'm sure, given the dire straits that would result in such an eventuality, I'm sure Nicola Sturgeon, would quite happily negotiate England rejoining as a Scottish region and Westminster would be glad she did so...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Alien

            Re: ...won't be finished until April...

            I think we may end up with Scotland having a long tentacle running down the A1 to London, and this new Greater Scotland will rejoin the EU. The rump of England will slowly rot away, ruled by clowns and forgotten by most.

            (I live in this rump.)

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: ...won't be finished until April...

      Too bad the heartless EU refused to let Boris extend the deadline to resolve issues.

      What? They did? Why wasn't I told?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plan B

    Look if there are issues with queues post Brexit, we'll just invade France (never much of much of a problem) and turn Normandy in to a lorry park to avoid snarling up the M20.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Plan B

      "we'll just invade France (never much of much of a problem)"

      We spent a hundred years trying and ultimately ended up with less than we'd started with.

    2. Trubbs

      Re: Plan B

      I have my money on Belgium

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plan B

      Ready for Dieppe 2?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sovereignty.

    This all sounds excellent. Well done Boris, Michael and Dominic for steering us so well towards freedom and prosperity. I'll be out of here before the end of the year, but you all carry on and enjoy this masterpiece of planning and excellent showcasing of British technological prowess and ingenuity.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Well done Boris, Michael and Dominic

      Errrr.... you forgot the instigator of it all.

      Nigel (are you buying?) Farage.

      He's been very quiet recently. One has to ask if he's alreadty done a bunk to foreign shores. Probably.

      England... sinking by the pound.

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: Well done Boris, Michael and Dominic

        He is looking forward to cutting the ribbon at the opening of the Kent lorry park.

  10. MJI Silver badge

    Knowing how long software takes.

    Should have started it around 2010.

    Otherwise it is rushed.

  11. TrumpSlurp the Troll
    Trollface

    World Beta?

    Permanent, that is.

  12. Nunyabiznes

    Understatement

    "A Cabinet Office official told Bloomberg that beta is a standard labelling practice for a digital service that is fully operational. Experienced IT professionals may contest this definition."

    I like how the author slid this in...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Understatement

      I love it. I have not told a lie, I have merely used standard labelling practice

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re:Beta software

      Windows 10 is still in Beta isn't it?

      {ducks to avoid incoming)

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Re:Beta software

        No, 2004 is still only in Alpha ;)

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Re:Beta software

          Nah, Microsoft dropped support for Alpha in Win2K

      2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Re:Beta software

        Don"t forget all Alpabet's products...

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Understatement

      I've suspected this for some time. Good to see it confirmed. Somebody really should take them to one side and quietly explain the facts of life.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Understatement

      Beta is generally supposed to mean "functionally complete, but not suitable for production". Methinks someone might be thinking about how to avoid any liability claims.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Understatement

        I think that Google may have taken control of UK without nobody noticing...

  13. Anonymous John

    Kent Access Permits. Kermits for short. Or UKIPs. Universal Kent Ingress Permits.

  14. Fonant

    Self-limiting

    The queues, will, in fact be self-limiting.

    Possibly an initial spike in queue length, but then lorries will be forced to charge a LOT more for cross-channel work to account for the time spent queuing. At which point demand for cross-channel deliveries will reduce, and queues will reduce.

    Until some dynamic equilibrium results where only high-value high-density goods, that can justify high transport costs, are left in the short queues.

    There won't be much (relatively cheap) perishable food crossing the channel next year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Self-limiting

      They can drive the trucks along the backs of the mass of Brits swimming to Europe

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Self-limiting

      > lorries will be forced to charge a LOT more for cross-channel work to account for the time spent queuing

      And the cost of coming back empty.

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Self-limiting

      Until some dynamic equilibrium results where only high-value high-density goods, that can justify high transport costs, are left in the short queues.

      At that point it will be quicker and cheaper to fly those goods, probably through another country not in the EU just so customs controls are already in place and known.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Self-limiting

        So if Britain were to sign a free-trade deal with Japan we could make Nissans in Britain, ship them to Japan duty free where they could then be exported to France and sold there.

        So it's just like the cloud !

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An alternative solution

    Has anyone considered applying for membership of an economic and trading union composed of our close neighbour nations?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An alternative solution

      > Has anyone considered applying for membership of an economic and trading union composed of our close neighbour nations?

      Yeah, it's almost as if the EU members do no external trade whatsoever and only trade amongst themselves. If only the EU members *also* traded outside of the EU bloc then they might have access to existing IT systems able to deal with a new external trading partner. Oh wait, they do.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: An alternative solution

        You mean people, goods and services being able to freely move between Kent and Sussex with no controls or borders? Madness !

      2. Hollerithevo

        Re: An alternative solution

        Yes, they do indeed have existing IT systems. 'They' being the EU. But the UK does not.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: An alternative solution

      @Thomas PinkOne

      "Has anyone considered applying for membership of an economic and trading union composed of our close neighbour nations?"

      Yes. Thats why people voted out. When it was no longer a trade area but a political union going south the Trans-Pacific Partnership looked better to our politicians.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Commerce the Brexit way

    Oh Brexit, Brexit

    They said you would fix it

    You were gonna be the ticket

    But more likely you'll brick it

  17. xyz Silver badge

    There'll be blue trucks...

    All over the white cliffs of Dover...

    I wonder what powered egg tastes like?

    Will Boris shave his head, make V signs and start smoking cigars?

    Can't wait for January to find out.

  18. DenonDJ DN-2500F

    With the new border between Kent and the rest of England, at least the benefits of being in the EU will presumably apply to the good folk of Kent.

    1. Thought About IT

      60% of them voted to leave!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Let's not forget that 12 out of the 13 constituencies returned Tory MPs in the last election.

        People of Kent, you won - get over it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Democracy in action. This is what we all voted for. What do the people of Kent not understand?! They need to accept their fate, as the lorry park of England, and just get on with it.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            But they don't want Kent to become a lorry park

            So we have a permit to enter Kent

            So lorries have to queue up on the M25 to enter Kent

            But we don't want the M25 to be a lorry park

            So they have to queue up on the M1 with a permit to enter the M25

            Ultimate solution is to have them queue up in Norther Ireland and make the Irish sea the border. Everything is clear, Boris and The Cummings were playing 4D chess

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    FAIL

    Dont worry, the pain

    will be shared equally.

    Boris will make sure EU trucks coming in suffer the same controls thus turning northern France into a lorry park too.

    Wonder what the Swiss do, considering the trucks deliver there, and transit between France/Italy/Germany/Austria.......

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Wonder what the Swiss do

      Er... doesn't everything in Switzerland run like a 'Swiss Watch'? No delayed trains so no delayed trucking.

    2. mark l 2 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Dont worry, the pain

      Well the Swiss have a free trade agreement with the EU. We as we are looking like, unless something happens in the next week we will be moving to WTO rules in January and all the red tape that goes with that arrangement. But you know taking back control and all that

    3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Dont worry, the pain

      > Wonder what the Swiss do, considering the trucks deliver there, and transit between France/Italy/Germany/Austria.......

      There's a special spiral tunnel hidden inside Mt. Eiger into which lorries can be diverted to form a queue. If necessary, they emerge at the top of the mountain and are added into a glacier to be frozen, emerging decades later as they get to bottom and their turn at the front of the queue.

      Boris + Dominic have a similar thing in mind which they are calling 'Operation Molehill'

      1. Hollerithevo

        Re: Dont worry, the pain

        And in 1000 years archaeologists will decide the markings on the outside of the units had religious significance.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan

          Re: Dont worry, the pain

          archaeologists will decide the markings on the outside of the units had religious significance

          "It's a lorryhenge and undoubtably used for ritual purposes.."

    4. Weylin

      Re: Dont worry, the pain

      The Swiss have large customs facilities with huge lorry parks and working IT systems.

    5. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Dont worry, the pain

      Wonder what the Swiss do,

      Besides "Work", you mean?

      The main problem with Brexit is that it is entirely based on Faith: The stronger The Faith, the better The Brexit will be. No need to do any work at all, no, we just gotta Believe Harder and Wonders will happen!

      If they don't, it's because of someone sorely lacking in Faith and once those impure heretics are rooted out and put in reeducation camps, Brexit will work. Guaranteed!!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Dont worry, the pain

        It's the Underpants Gnomes style solution.

        1. Brexit.

        2. ????

        3. Profit.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Trollface

          It's the Underpants Gnomes style solution.

          One must then ask whether there are still Underpants Manufacturing Facilities operating within the UK, as well as those having an adequate supply of raw materials.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan

        Re: Dont worry, the pain

        The stronger The Faith

        "But I tell you this, faith without works is dead. You say you have faith - then show it by the works you do". So, all those people putting their faith in Brexit are going to be very, very disappointed

    6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Dont worry, the pain

      The Swiss are currently voting on a related issue – related inasmuch as they're voting on a referendum over freedom of movement for EU citizens. The relevant contract is tied up 7 ? other contracts including freedom of movement of goods and services where if one is cancelled, they're all cancelled. Rather surprisingly polls are around 60 % against cancelling the contract.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Dont worry, the pain

        @Charlie Clark

        "Rather surprisingly polls are around 60 % against cancelling the contract."

        I heard about that too. I wonder if their polling is as good as the UK's? I am trying to remember which country had a similar referendum and when the EU threatened to cut them out the politicians ignored/reversed the result.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still to come, access permits to enter/leave each of the new free ports.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      We're taking back control. Show your internal passport, citizen.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        To be fair, they made it clear they wanted to end free movement.

        1. Loud Speaker

          Well, if they end all movement, they will meet their goal won't they?

  21. colinb

    There is always Monaco

    Well, if you are a billionaire like Jim Ratcliffe the prominent Brexit supporter who has just moved there.

    As John Lydon said at their last concert 'Ever get the feeling you've been cheated'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is always Monaco

      Sir Jim's doing his bit for Brexit Britain by building his knock-off Santana PS10 in France. He won, you lost. Get over it.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: There is always Monaco

      Don't forget Dyson moving his headquarters to Singapore. Shows great faith in Brexit, doesn't it?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: There is always Monaco

        Perhaps this could be kept up until there aren't any Brexiteers left in Britain.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Usual government fudge - mmm, delicious!

    Sounds about right for a government-backed scheme.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    "7,000 vehicles (about 60 miles/96km, end-to-end)"

    How many linguine or brontosaurs is that?? (In case nobody else has already asked this)

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "7,000 vehicles (about 60 miles/96km, end-to-end)"

      685,714 EU standard linguines, 1500 Devon Fatbergs, or 47843 Osmans laid end to end.

      https://www.theregister.com/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html#length

      1. Kimo

        Re: "7,000 vehicles (about 60 miles/96km, end-to-end)"

        1,056 American football fields.

  24. Ian 3

    Because nothings works better or runs cheaper....

    Than complex software finished in a rush. You can almost smell the code-rot from here. Which 'preferred' out-sourcing govt. SI partner is building this, and how much are they getting paid to screw it up?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Because nothings works better or runs cheaper....

      Big Blue on AWS & lots and lots of contractors

      Just don't ask about the testing at scale, or the costs of data in/out of the Bezos Machine

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few years ago at the height of the "migrant crisis" I remember some expert from Europe explaining that Schegen was still ok as "you don't handle illegal immigration at the border" .... this looks like the same idea - rather than waiting to check if all the lorries have the right paper work at Dover you allow checks to be made 30-40 miles away. Of course, people don't like this idea as if it catches on then (as the European migration expert explained) you then handle immigration etc by id cards that can be checked anywhere.

  26. gwp3

    Beta?

    "Sarah Laouadi, manager of European and international policy at Logistics UK, told The Register that the industry body had seen a version of the system demonstrated on a shared screen, but had not been able to explore the system itself"

    Looks like they were shown a Powerpoint presentation.

  27. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Coat

    Conspiracy theory alert

    What if this KAP business is actually an attempt to capitalise on the 'success' of the Brexit negotiations and ensure that lorries and therefore their drivers are trapped in South East England, where all the dismissed Costa, Pret a Manger, Cafe Neros etc. staff can set up shop and sell them tuna melts and £3 cups of coffee for a couple of days, so as to save the economy?

    I'll get my coat, its the one with "Here to Help" printed on the back.

    1. skeptical i
      Thumb Up

      Re: Conspiracy theory alert

      Pretty much what I was thinking, would they also need parking areas for the food trucks that show up to keep the waiting drivers fed and caffeinated? Maybe this is how Brexit will create new jobs, jump-start homeland businesses, or whatever it was supposed to do.

      She wheeled her wheelbarrow 'mong trucks long and narrow, crying "Coffee! And donuts! Get two for five-oh!"

  28. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Facepalm

    MY first 'proper job' ...

    ... was testing software.

    Beta is definitely NOT the finished release version. Why do I consider myself to have been right all those years ago when I said (to no one in particular) that outsourcing all HMG IT would mean that in 20 years time there would be no senior civil servants with a really good understanding of IT development and consequently large government IT procurements would be very difficult to achieve on time, within budget and to a useful and realistic specification?

    Thinks: Hang on a minute, I must be one of those 'super forecasters', because absolutely nobody else could possibly have predicted that ...

    OK, my turn to go into the car park and SCREAM!

    Have a good weekend everyone.

  29. C. P. Cosgrove
    Thumb Down

    I mostly agree

    As a former international haulage driver this sounds like one massive upcoming cock-up and I agree with almost everything said to date in El Reg on this subject. The people I feel sorriest for are traffic admins and managers in the distribution industries. The beta - sorry, the working software - is going to be released in mid-December. These folks are not going to see much of their families over Christmas as they try to get this to work. Still they do have an extra day to get it working, unless my memory plays me false the cross-channel ferries don't operate on New Year's Day.

    However I do have one small annoying bone to pick with El Reg, but they are not alone in this.

    " about 60 miles or 96km end-to-end"

    '60 miles' suggests an error level of +/- 6 miles or 10%, '96km' suggests an error level of +/- 500m or 0.5%. Why not just say '60 miles or 100km' ?

    Chris Cosgrove

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: I mostly agree

      " about 60 miles or 96km end-to-end"

      El-Reg should stick to their own standards.

      About 10474 Double-decker buses or 48124 Osmans (Richard, not the pop group)

      https://www.theregister.com/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html?

  30. Mike Pellatt

    A Cabinet Office official told Bloomberg that beta is a standard labelling practice for a digital service that is fully operational. Experienced IT professionals may contest this definition.

    What a liar. Alpha is a standard labelling practice in the world of Government service for a digital service that is fully operational. For at least six years.

    For that's how long the Dartford Crossing Payments page has been labelled "alpha"

    I had a spat on here with an ex-GDS geezer who said "Nothing to do wiv us guv, it's someone else". Even though, of course, it's clearly labelled as a gov service. Apparently the branding isn't the point.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Risible

    Just reading this article makes my head hurt.

    Smart Freight? KAPs? Border?

    What the fuck has Britain done to itself?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Risible

      "What the fuck has Britain done to itself?"

      Voted - by a few % majority - for Brexit.

      As the consequences become obvious to all but those of the meanest intelligence (mostly to be found in and around the Cabinet) I wonder what the result would be if it were re-run early next year.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Risible

        The vote was about 30% of the population approving Brexit ... in the UK system that is a massive majority!

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Risible

          @Version 1.0

          "The vote was about 30% of the population approving Brexit"

          And the vote to remain was even smaller! Thats how important the EU was to people. Of those who actually cared to vote the majority voted leave. And since then brexit parties have been successful and remain parties losing out. The lib dems ran on a platform exclusive to remain ignoring the referendum entirely, and were destroyed.

          Since then votes have been for brexit parties in our gov and MEP's

  32. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    FAIL

    KAPUT

    When the KAP system goes TITSUP

    Total Inability To Serve Usual Permits

  33. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    COVID-19 contact-tracing app + Truck Queue

    If they implement "Operation Stack" for trucks on the M20 for trucks going to Dover, there is an increased chance of false positives from the app for any truckers on the queue

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: COVID-19 contact-tracing app + Truck Queue

      Most trucks are a tad longer than 2m. They also usually a bit wider than 2m.

  34. Winkypop Silver badge
    Coat

    Queues in Kent and order places

    Sounds like the government is telling people to just far-queue.

  35. Outcast

    Scaremongering

    Tell me do

    What paperwork do empty vehicles need ?

    I'm a trucker that goes to Dover every week. Nigh 0n 99% of the wagons heading for Dover are Continental vehicles returning EMPTY.

    Why would Customs detain EMPTY vehicles ?

    That's right

    They wont.

    We export bugger all into Europe.

    The queues that WILL exist will be all through Calais

    lol

    Lets see how they like drivers answering the call of nature on the side of their roads !!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Scaremongering

      "Lets see how they like drivers answering the call of nature on the side of their roads !!"

      The new name for Calais, Little Paris :-)

    2. jonfr

      Re: Scaremongering

      This is not scaremongering. If you live in the UK prepare your self for the fact that food costs is going to increase. If you travel abroad (after covid-19 has ended), you are going to be required to fill out forms and pay travel visa costs.

      Enjoy your Brexit, as it is self imposed lock-in into England. Scotland is leaving England soon to rejoin EU.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Scaremongering

        @jonfr

        "If you live in the UK prepare your self for the fact that food costs is going to increase."

        When that claim gets made its with an asterisk noting its food from the EU. Actual food prices will fall as we dont need the protectionist tariffs and excluding regulations.

        "If you travel abroad (after covid-19 has ended), you are going to be required to fill out forms and pay travel visa costs."

        Travel will return to pre-EU rules. So no visa unless you are staying for a while.

        "Enjoy your Brexit, as it is self imposed lock-in into England"

        You are claiming the rest of the world is locked in? And England is in the UK so there is more room than you claim.

        "Scotland is leaving England soon to rejoin EU."

        I do laugh that the nationalists want to leave the UK to be governed by the EU. But since they dont meet the requirements and would lose all the opt outs (they would have to accept the Euro too) I cant see their joy lasting too long if they vote to leave the UK.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Scaremongering

          @jonfr

          Even the EU is warning us that the UK will be flooded with cheaper food by leaving the EU-

          https://www.continentaltelegraph.com/2020/09/the-glorious-post-brexit-world-of-affordable-food/

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "We export bugger all into Europe."

      Here, here.

      Spoken like a true Brexiteer.

      You must be terribly excited at the prospect of "taking back control" as you and your cultist breathern kept chanting.

    4. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Scaremongering

      Are you sure they are not smuggling lorries?

  36. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    No one seems to be talking about other ports.

    Are there plans in place for other ports? Hull comes to mind. Queues along the A63/M62 all the way to Liverpool? Now THAT would be a North South divide!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: No one seems to be talking about other ports.

      There'll be customs checks/no customs checks (it's a quantum thing) at Liverpool and Cairnryan for travel to that other part of the UK in NI. That means that the A75 will also become a lorry park.

  37. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    No officer, I don't need a permit

    I'm just driving the truck to Kent to check my eyesight. Problem solved, we were told that Brexit would be simple and easy weren't we?

  38. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    beta is a standard labelling practice for a digital service that is fully operational.

    I have a feeling that this assertion may have arisen from gmail's high-profile example.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2009/07/why-google-kept-gmail-in-beta-for-so-many-years.html

    In gmail's case, the beta branding hinted at the ongoing development work going on to provide a more feature-rich end-result (I typed feature-risk on auto-pilot to start with, hmm that could be a good way to decribe it), but I would think that stability, rather than features, is the priority with this mission-critical project.

  39. James Anderson

    Bit of a worry

    Given customs and excises draconian enforcement policies combined with the legal precedent set by the post office that end users can be prosecuted for software errors.

    Will honest importers be imprisoned for beta testing crappy software? Will I be handcuffed for downloading an Amazon e-book from Luxembourg?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    timing

    "a beta version will not be ready until mid-December"

    Good timing, knowing full well this is gonna be a no deal Brexit, for now 2 years !

    1. Screwed

      Re: timing

      You don't have to know it will be a no-deal to realise that arrangements needed to be made. Unless a deal which specifically avoided the underlying causes of the queue, the KAP (or some other way of addressing the issues) would be required.

  41. tonyyaman

    all i can say is what happened with the N H S track and trace

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Track and Trace

      NHS T & T is Scotland

      Serco T & T is England

  42. Crisp

    My solution for this is radical

    Place all trucks on truck trucks.

    Drive the truck trucks across the border.

    All freight is now trucks. Thus simplifying all paperwork.

    1. CPU

      Re: My solution for this is radical

      That is true thinking outside the box (or cargo container).

  43. shawn.grinter

    I can just see it....

    IT says: Enter 10 digit code for Customs Item

    Me: None - I'm coming back empty

    IT says: Invalid Entry please try again..

  44. CPU

    I feel safer already...

    ... with any Governments track record on new IT systems- but this Government in particular- what could possibly go wrong...

  45. staringatclouds
    Flame

    There won't be 7,000 trucks in a queue to Kent

    In order for a UK haulier to take goods to an EU member state they need an ECMT permit, these come in 2 flavours, monthly & yearly.

    In March of 2019 the UK had 11,392 applications for yearly permits of which it allocated 984 with a possible 70% more ( 689 after rounding up ) to come so that's a maximum of 1673 annual permits.

    They also had 2,832 monthly permits which hadn't been allocated.

    So in any one month there's between 3,816 & 4,505 permits, which translates to the same number of UK vehicles travelling to the EU, no point setting off for the EU without a permit.

    I doubt 2020 has a much larger allocation, given the state of talks.

    And 11,392 applications were made, and that's when we had FoM and didn't actually need permits, we just thought FoM could end any day so we'd best get them, when transition ends those permits will be needed.

    And that's for the entire UK, any port, not just the ones in Kent, we'll sharing those 3,816 to 4,505 trucks between several other ports as well as Dover.

    So if there's 2000 UK trucks going through Dover we'll be lucky, though that figure's just a guess. I'd be surprised if UK haulage operators weren't looking at alternative routes to avoid queueing though. Any RORO ports that happen to be on the east of the UK & aren't in Kent will do see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/list-of-roll-on-roll-off-ports.

    And any EU trucks that get stuck in a queue returning to base will only do so once as their operators won't send them again, sitting in a queue costs them money, UK haulage will be uneconomic so they'll finish their current contracts & won't pick up any future ones, after all they have 27 other countries they can haul to.

    The Government will be well aware of all this as they're the ones that issue the certificates in the UK. I'd say they're just going to pretend they don't know and act all surprised in January in order to whip up some anti EU sentiment, "But we built all these car parks, disrupted lives, put a border round Kent & now the nasty EU won't even let us use them waaaaah, it's all their fault how could we have foreseen this" yadda yadda

    Source for March 2019 figures - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47377037

  46. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Project Fear

    Proved not to be Hype yet again

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