The Port Boulogne Calais’ has ploughed €6million (£5.17million) in to new facilities at the French city to avoid “chaos at Calais” , in terms of terms of customs, veterinary and phytosanitary declarations. Port boss Jean-Marc Puissesseau, who is also deputy mayor of the French city, told Express.co.uk how his port had been preparing for a no deal Brexit since the very moment Britain voted to unshackle itself from the EU in 2016.
The site, as seen by Express.co.uk, in Calais now boasts six loading bays for sanitary inspections of food and plant checks and four bays for custom controls and inspections.
It means trucks can undergo inspections and checks on the platforms as soon as they leave the ferries.
Waiting areas have also been created at the terminal to ensure trucks awaiting customs clearance have a place to stay.
The facilities also feature a livestock station for live animals, including horses and a refrigerated storage area, at the Paul Devot dock in the immediate vicinity of the port.
The port of Calais sees nearly 2million trucks and 10million passengers pass through each year, with 50 million tonnes of goods freely traded each year between the UK and the European continent via the port in the French city.
Mr Puissesseau told how the preparations meant there would not be “chaos at Calais”.
He said: “For me hard Brexit, or no deal does not mean chaos in Calais, not at all. It is a wrong image that has been shown – it is completely wrong – we have been working so much with English and French authorities to avoid chaos.
“We are ready for Brexit. We have the installations.
“Brexit is not in the name of panic, not at all, it’s in the name more control, a little bit more controls, especially on imports. With exports no problem.”
And while the French boss brushed off no deal concerns, he warned that the UK could go in to recession in the event of the nation leaving the EU without s deal.
He said: “We are not afraid at all – we are sad,and we are scared about the economic situation but not at all about the traffic in the port.
“There could be a recession, there could be a reduction of the economy in England and maybe for the car industry that they don’t need to import so many pieces and spare parts and other industries.”
Despite preparing for a no deal, Mr Puissesseau insisted France was expecting a deal.
He said: “France is not expecting a no deal Brexit, it’s expecting a deal.
“It has been weeks and weeks, months and months, we don’t know how it will happen.
“We have been investing a lot of money and everyday and every week it goes on and we don’t know what will happen at all.
“France wants the situation be clear as soon as possible – deal, or no deal, hard or not hard, Brexit or no Brexit – that is all.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has previously insisted France is “technically and legally” prepared to protect the interests of small businesses affected by Britain’s decision to quit the bloc in the event of a no deal exit.