Preparing for the UK's exit from the European Union

The UK is due to leave the European Union this year. As a council, we have no power over the negotiations with the EU about the terms of any exit deal, or if there is no deal.

We have been working for some time to identify the ways Brexit could potentially affect our district; both in terms of the work of the council and the possible impact on residents and visitors.

For the most up-to-date information on Brexit, including advice on a no-deal situation, business guidance and more, see the UK Government website.

GOV.UK: Prepare for EU Exit

I run a business

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there would be no transition period, which means businesses would have to respond immediately to any changes.

These could include increased border checks, changes to customs and VAT arrangements, or licences and approvals issued by the UK no longer recognised by the EU.

The Government is advising businesses to prepare contingency plans for a 'no-deal' situation and to consider how it would impact their staff or operations.

Tourism, agriculture and businesses who export or import goods are thought to be among those who would be most affected by a no-deal exit.

There could also be travel disruption on local roads, potentially for several months. Together with other councils and partners including Highways England, the Department for Transport, and Kent Police we have been planning ways to deal with this.

Businesses can help by considering whether staff could work from home or car share in the weeks and months immediately following Brexit.

More specialist advice and information is available on the following websites:


I am a resident

Our district benefits from close links with the continent. But this means it could potentially suffer disruption resulting from Britain's exit from the European Union.

Depending on the terms of any deal, or if there is no deal, there could be delays at Eurotunnel and at the Port of Dover because of increased customs checks. This could lead to disruption on local roads, including the M20, A20 and other main routes.

We have been working with our partners, including other councils, the Department for Transport, Kent Police and Highways England, on possible solutions to any congestion. You may have read about some of these in the media.

The possible solutions include an alternative to Operation Stack, where lorries queue on the M20 but a contraflow is in operation so other traffic can still flow freely; holding lorries on the M26; and using the former Manston airport in Thanet as a holding park.

More information on these will be published as they are finalised. You can read more about the M20 alternative at the Highways England website: 

M20 Operation stack solutions

There may be an impact on some council services, such as waste collection, if there is severe disruption on our roads. We are working with our contractors to prepare for this and will inform residents if there will be any changes to collection arrangements.

Together with our partners, we have been - and will continue - lobbying Government to make sure our area receives the necessary funding and support to mitigate any negative outcomes of Brexit, and to protect the future prosperity of the district.

You can find more information on how Brexit could affect you on the Government's website.

GOV.UK: Prepare for EU Exit

I am a visitor

Whatever happens after the UK leaves the EU, Folkestone, Hythe, Romney Marsh and the Kent Downs will continue to welcome visitors from within the UK and all over the world.

Tourism is a key part of our local economy and we are working to support businesses in this industry with any challenges arising from Brexit.

This support could include promoting travel routes that avoid the worst of any congestion, publicising local attractions and events, or lobbying for national advertising campaigns to encourage European tourists to visit the area.

There may be new rules on passports, driving licences, pet travel or mobile phone charges abroad after the UK leaves the EU. The latest information will be on the Government's website.

GOV.UK: Prepare for EU Exit

I am an EU citizen       

The UK Government has reached an agreement with the EU and other countries that means EU citizens and their families will be able to stay living in this country after Brexit.

People from EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will need to apply under the EU settlement scheme. This includes people from EU countries who are married to British citizens, or anyone who was born in the UK who is not a British citizen.

Irish citizens, or anyone with indefinite leave to enter the UK or indefinite leave to remain, do not need to apply, although family members from outside the UK or Ireland will need to.

There is more information and a tool to help you work out if you need to apply or not on the Government's website.

GOV.UK: Prepare for EU Exit