Dear John

What’s really been going on at Britain’s borders?

Best for Britain and the UK Trade & Business Commission visited Dover to find out.

Members of the UK Trade & Business Commission, Labour MP Hilary Benn and Peter Norris of Virgin Group, joined Best for Britain as we visited Winterwood Farms, the largest grower of blueberries in the UK, and the Port of Dover. 


We spoke to Tim Reardon, who heads up the port’s EU exit strategy. He explained in detail how the port had put in place several contingency plans to help it cope with the effects of Brexit. Reardon told us that problems causing delays weren’t just to do with customs paperwork, saying even European passport controls have created challenges, especially in terms of biometric controls for anyone entering the Schengen area. 

Reardon also highlighted the need for a veterinary agreement between the UK and EU - which would significantly ease the flow of animals and animal products. This is something Best for Britain and the Commission have been recommending to the Government for some time. 

At Winterwood Farms, the team found human resource had become a huge challenge in the wake of Brexit. Last year was the first since 1978 that berries went unpicked due to a lack of workers. This means the farms are planning to prioritise more profitable fruit over the growing/picking seasons, such as strawberries. Ironically, Brexit will therefore mean that we see fewer British-grown berries and less variety on our shelves. 

Commissioners have written to the UK Government explaining what they have found and making recommendations for improvements to UK policy and for future negotiations with the EU.

Find out more about the team’s visit and and discoveries by reading the report:



We have long warned the Government about the impacts of Brexit, and seeing them unfolding before our eyes has certainly been a sobering experience. 

It is never too late to learn - it’s why we make sure to see what’s happening on the ground. 

We will continue to seek out and examine the evidence that is piling up about how Brexit is affecting British businesses and British consumers. And we will continue pressing the Government for real action.

Best wishes,

Naomi Smith

CEO, Best for Britain

P.S. Best for Britain’s impact is growing, we become more effective and gather more influence to campaign for the change our country needs every time someone joins us. Just £5 a month will make you a Best for Britain Citizen of the World - and this will get you exclusive access to events and updates.

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