You think I jest? This from the Independent. “Police will patrol the Kent border to turn away lorries without an ‘access permit’ in a bid to ease Brexit border chaos, it has been revealed. Michael Gove said officers will use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and ‘other means’ to block drivers - in what will be seen as an ‘internal border’ in the UK”. I warned you English, we know how to deal with counter-revolution!
There was more. “The move would try to ensure ‘constituents are not inconvenienced’, he told MPs, after warning of 7,000-long lorry queues and two-day delays to cross the Channel”. Lisa O’Carroll of the Guardian confirmed the news. “Gove confirms a de facto internal border in Kent - rephrasing previous tweet (this is something transport industry been v worried about) Truckers will have to have a ‘Kent Access Permit’ to get into the county says Gove”. Kent will become a Restricted Area. Bit like Gorky.
She added “This Kent Access Permit will be issued once [a] trucker has completed their paperwork. But sources in industry say it is impossible to implement unless police patrol the Kent border. They have asked govt to explain this. This is first time govt has said police will be used”. Will there be watchtowers? A kill zone on either side? Escape tunnels?
The opportunities for ridicule were endless. Katherine Piper mused “I love that Nigel Farage’s ‘village pub in rural Kent’, which is within the M25, comes under Bromley council, and is served by the TfL R8 bus from Orpington station (except on Sundays) is now a border area. Be careful what you wish for, I guess”. Karla Farage being sprung by The Circus across the Gravesend to Tilbury foot ferry? Netflix will be casting that one soon.
One Tweeter looked at the map and observed “All those sylvan suburban roads going from Orpington towards Knockholt. Hawley's Corner is at the junction of *five roads*, more or less all of them on or near the border between London and Kent”. So, Hawley’s Corner, “The town motto can be 'Like Basel But More Communist And No Rhine’”.
Alexander Clarkson of King’s College London had a question. "Say you're an Amazon delivery driver, do you need a special [Kent Access Permit] for any deliveries inside the Kent Buffer Zone?” The newly-formed Kentish Independence Party had the answer to that: “we're proposing a simplified arrangement where we nick bits off Surrey and London”.
It’s all very Oder-Neisse line and South Tirol all of a sudden. Will sympathetic EU member states arrange air drops of croissants, Belgian chocolate and artisan cheese to the beleaguered lorry park inhabitants? Will Shepherd Neame be able to brew enough Spitfire and Bishops Finger to enable the locals to drown their sorrows? Will comfortably-off Londoners complain that the Rotten Kentish are hogging their wine production?
It would be funny if it were not so tragic: “Oiky” Gove and his pals have fouled up, they knew this would happen, and lied to the electorate anyway. Has the penny dropped yet?
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