It's not going to be a permanent 13 mile jam Philip Halling / Lorries at Dover / CC BY-SA 2.0

It is of course a great sport to be able to spot the more absurd claims being made about how Brexit will destroy everything that is lovely about our green and pleasant land. It’s less lovely to contemplate that those making the claims are either stupid enough to believe the claims or think we’re that stupid. It’s thus worth examining this latest nonsense:

By Faisal Islam, political editor

The government’s “temporary solution” to potential traffic chaos on Kent’s roads after Brexit will have to last “many years” as a permanent solution will not be in place until “2023 at the earliest”, Sky News can reveal.

According to internal Brexit impact reports from two Conservative-run local councils, the conversion of four lanes of the M20 motorway into a 13-mile (20km) long lorry park could be in place for a number of years after the UK’s departure from the EU.

The first preparations for the scheme, known as Operation Brock, have just begun, with hard shoulders about to be strengthened to sustain the weight of hundreds of parked articulated lorries.

Such a scenario is anticipated should either the Channel Tunnel or cross-Channel ferry routes see new customs or regulatory checks after Brexit.

Perhaps our first task here is to contemplate the intellect of Faisal Islam. Not great would be that first estimation.

To understand why think like you’re the bloke who makes the stuff that goes on the lorries that go to Dover. Sure, it started out, when we were bosom buddies in the EU, with the lorry leaving the factory and being in France that evening. Great, eh?

Now we’ve done the Brexit dirty deed, full customs controls are now in place in France and it takes 2 weeks to get that lorry over the Channel. Our lad goes and twiddles his thumbs at our expense in that lorry park waiting for space on a ferry.

Except, of course, he doesn’t. Because I’m the bloke making the stuff that goes on the lorry and I’m not stupid enough to send it over to France if there’s a 2 week delay, am I?

So, what will actually happen? Start from the beginning, the ferry and Tunnel capacity is going to be exactly the same as it is today. Brexit is not going to mean blowing up the ships themselves now, is it? OK, so there’s situation normal in France with the Frogs making life difficult. That means long delays for any specific lorry passing through customs. But what happens to that tail of lorries waiting to approach customs?

Well, given that not everyone actually is an idiot they don’t exist, do they? The news of that 13 mile tailback in week one has got around. Lorries and or containers now go via Harwich, Grimsby, Felixstowe, Newhaven. Business doesn’t happen at all perhaps. But there’s just no manner at all in which we’re going to have a permanent 13 mile tailback. To think so is to be grievously in error. Traffic flow to Dover will vary given the difficulty or not of getting through Dover, obviously enough. It is only variability in that difficulty which is going to cause jams, the standard flow and throughput will adapt to whatever the constant difficulties are.

Or as we might put it, a 13 mile tailback raises the price of going through Dover so fewer people will do it, thus eliminating the tailback.