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First truck passes new Eurotunnel controls

The first truck has gone through controls at the Eurotunnel as it heads for Europe, following the UK’s historic departure from the single market.

Driver Slavi Ivanov Shumeykov smiled and waved as his vehicle was processed by officials at Folkestone, Kent late on New Year’s Eve.

The first arrivals on the shuttle from France following the end of the Brexit transition period are expected at around 12.23am.

Dover has been quiet as many hauliers have been staying away to avoid being the first to test new border controls.

There had been fears of disruption in Kent as the UK counted down to 11pm and the end of the Brexit transition period, following chaos on the roads last week.

However, nightmarish visions of miles-long queues may not become a reality as businesses seek to avoid crossing the Channel altogether and customs officials take a “flexible” approach.

UK officials say they are confident the mechanisms in place are ready to go.

The change of systems at the Eurotunnel as the UK leaves the single market and customs union is expected to be “seamless”, a spokesman for the shuttle service said.

He added that there was “no residue” left from the huge queues of trucks in Kent caused by France effectively shutting the border with the UK earlier in December amid fears over Covid-19.

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