Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: Can my noble friend confirm that delays at Dover are not unusual? On average, Operation Stack has had to be implemented 11 times a year over the last 20 years. In 2015, it was in operation for 23 consecutive days and queues of 7,000 lorries built up, with delays of 35 hours. It did not bring the United Kingdom to a halt, and nor will any teething problems with the new system. It did not attract much attention from those who now weep salt tears, with almost ghoulish delight, in anticipation of any problems that may temporarily occur.

    Baroness Vere of Norbiton: It is the case that traffic across the short straits is very frequent. There is a large volume of it and when small incidents occur, back-ups can happen. Actually, at this moment we are facing not only post-Covid freight movements but pre-holiday stock building, end of transition period stock building and increased spending on consumer goods. So, while we recognise that these factors will play an important role as we head into January, I believe that, if hauliers and traders are ready, we can minimise any delays.