Rotterdam port creating more parking areas in preparation for no-deal Brexit

Containers in the port of Rotterdam
Containers in the port of RotterdamPhoto: designf21/DepositPhotos

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is setting up five additional parking areas in preparation for a no-deal Brexit. These "buffer parking locations" have space for 700 trucks, for the event that carriers do not have their customs documents in order for maritime transport to the United Kingdom, reports.

Trucks without the proper customs papers can park in one of these additional areas while they register and report their load in the correct manner. Once their papers are in order, they will get access to the ferry terminals in the port of Rotterdam. In this way the Port Authority, the municipalities of Rotterdam and Vlaardingen, and road authority Rijkswaterstaat want to ensure that a no-deal Brexit does not disrupt the port's activities.

The United Kingdom's departure from the European Union is scheduled for March 29th. On Monday night British Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU presented an adjusted withdrawal agreement, which includes guarantees that the so-called Irish backstop won't be a permanent measure. The backstop is a safety net meant to ensure that the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland remains open when the UK leaves the EU.

In January the British parliament rejected the first version of this deal because they feared that the backstop would be a permanent measure, forcing the British to stay in a customs union with the EU because of the open border with Ireland. The House of Commons will vote on this adjusted withdrawal agreement on Tuesday evening. If the agreement is rejected, there will be a vote on Wednesday on whether the UK will leave the EU with no deal in place. If that is also rejected, it is likely that an extension for the Brexit will be requested.