Road to Brexit

Brexit: a word by now many of us are bored of hearing. However, with the 29th March looming and the UK’s prime minister claiming 95% of the withdrawal agreement settlement positioning the UK’s departure has now been established, the “Brexit future” is looking close!

Is the UK ready for Brexit? Or will it be an opportunity we let slip through our fingers? There are many rumours of the impact Brexit will have on the UK economy, and truth be told, there is little evidence in these rumours just yet and perhaps only time will tell. However, planning and preparation can help reduce these potential impacts. Are UK businesses ready for the change and ready for the challenge that Brexit will more than likely bring. Are we, as a nation, performing to the best of our ability to be able to deal with the change? The consequences of change can be damaging if not done correctly. If we were to look at the impact Brexit could have on the country’s infrastructure, the outlook could be concerning.

The UK’s roads are a main source of goods in and out of the UK via the ports. Dover is one of the most valuable ports for the UK, more than 10,000 freight vehicles pass through Dover on peak days as it handles one sixth of the UK’s total trade goods with a value of £119bn a year. Current checks are 2 minutes per vehicle; reports state that if port checks are to increase to an additional 2 minutes it would cause immediate 20 miles of tailbacks on the M20 from lorry traffic. The potential impact of these major traffic jams could be catastrophic with the whole of the South East backed up. Our infrastructure plays an important role in the UK’s economy and a shortage of goods or food rotting in the queues could all become problematic.

A temporary scheme named ‘Operation Brock intends to deal with the prospect of a “no deal Brexit” by turning parts of the M20 into a temporary lorry park if custom checks and paperwork for the thousands of trucks is to increase. ‘Operation Brock’ needs to act quickly if the South East is to continue to trade. Reports are stating that due to poor planning and project delivery ‘Operation Brock’ is not likely to be finished in time for the 29th March, however work has started and time will tell if the high profile project is to deliver the goods.

Wellingtone’s State of Project Management 2017 Annual Review stated 37% of projects complete on time and 42% complete to budget. That’s a high percentage that doesn’t deliver on time or to budget! ‘Operation Brock’ is an example of a high profile project with demanding pressure to deliver, but it’s not the only one. The Project Management industry can have a tendency to over promise and under deliver being in the competitive market it is. Performance and planning need to improve if as a nation we are going to support the challenging times ahead. Over the next few months the UK will need efficiency more than ever. Is your company ready for the journey ahead?