No-deal Brexit could spark rise in dogging, cabinet minister warns

Drivers wait next to their parked lorries on the M20 motorway, which leads from London to the Channel Tunnel terminal at Ashford and the Ferry Terminal at Dover, as part of Operation Stack in  southern England, Britain July 31, 2015. Prime Minister David Cameron drew up plans to help France tackle a spike in attempts by migrants to enter Britain illegally via the Channel Tunnel, but warned there was no quick fix. Cameron is under pressure to deter the migrants, many of whom have travelled from Africa and the Middle East, after disruption to cross-Channel passenger and freight traffic. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Drivers wait next to their parked lorries on the M20 motorway, which leads from London to the Channel Tunnel terminal at Ashford and the Ferry Terminal at Dover. (Reuters)

A cabinet minister has warned that a no-deal Brexit could spark an unprecedented rise in “dogging” as queues build up outside Dover.

According to The Sunday Times, the minister said at the Conservative Party conference last week that increased congestion in Kent would lead truck drivers to seek out public sex sites in the county.

“One of the things we talk about in these no-deal meetings concerns hauliers and their activities,” the unidentified minister said.

“The main thing is whether they will turn up at the Channel ports with the right paperwork. But there are also dogging hotspots all over the place.”

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen outside the venue for the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester, Britain October 1, 2019.  REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The minister reportedly brought up the issue at the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester last week. (Reuters)

Dogging is the practice of having sex in public while other people watch, usually in lay-bys, car parks and wooded areas.

Ministers are reportedly worried that it will become commonplace amongst British truckers, rather than Europeans, as they wait in the long queues.

“Do Europeans even do dogging?” the minister asked. “There is something deeply British about dogging.”


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Last month the boss of Dover ferry port dismissed fears of miles-long queues of lorries at the British border following Brexit, saying that “each and every day the situation is improving”.

However, port chief executive Doug Bannister said it remains “in a bit of a limbo” while uncertainty over Brexit continues in Westminster.

Five million vehicles and almost 12 million passengers pass through the ferry port every year, making it Europe’s busiest.

Mr Bannister said while a plan is in place to allow lorries to be stored on the M20 if queues start to build following a no-deal Brexit, the focus needs to be on how to minimise disruption across the whole of the region.

Asked about what the post-Brexit picture is likely to look like, Mr Bannister said there is “no doubt there will be some incremental friction in the trade”.

He added: “Nobody really knows what happens.”

Mr Bannister stressed the importance of making sure that border controls are “no more onerous” at the port post-Brexit than they are today.

He said that if traffic processing times – currently five minutes – rose by two minutes it could create a 17-mile queue at the border.

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