The Government has committed the cash to post-Brexit port infrastructure as part of an overall strategy aimed at increasing their attractiveness as hubs for the transportation of goods. However, Charles Hammond, chairman of the UK Major Ports Group, which represents 40 large ports, said those serving the Channel currently have an unfair advantage.
Mr Hammond explained ports such as Dover and Folkestone had not been required to build border infrastructure because they did not have the necessary space.
Urging Mr Johnson to devise a way of passing the costs back to Channel ports, he told the Financial Times: “The Government must come up with a pricing model that creates a level playing field because we know that we’ll have to be recovering our operating costs.
“To be fair, in the market place, the costs of these [ports] should be passed to the parties who are benefiting to decide whether they recover those costs from customers, freight forwarders or whoever it might be.”
Tim Reardon, head of EU exit for the Port of Dover, dismissed his criticisms, saying: “How the Government chooses to recover costs of the Sevington operation is its choice.
“User charges can be levied against importers whose goods are pulled into Sevington but I don’t see them charging the ferry company or Port of Dover, because neither is in any sense a ‘user’ of the site.”
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