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Portsmouth City Council to buy land for Brexit port customs checks

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image captionPortsmouth was awarded £17m by the government to ready its port infrastructure for Brexit

Land for a new border control point to carry out customs checks following Brexit is to be bought by Portsmouth City Council.

The area next to Portsmouth International Port in the north of the city, will allow checks on imports as required by government from July.

The cost of the site near the bottom of the M275 has not been revealed.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said there were "some funding issues" to be raised with the government.

The decision was taken to buy the land at a meeting of the council earlier.

'£8m shortfall'

Following the UK's departure from the EU, there are checks on controlled substances such as alcohol and tobacco coming into the country, and traders deemed to be a risk have to fill in customs declarations.

Most checks on goods coming in from the EU will be delayed until 1 July

The land at Kettering Terrace is to provide space to examine lorries bringing imports into the UK.

Tom Southall, the council's assistant director for property and investment, said: 'Clearly this acquisition is important in terms of the preparations for the port for the border operating model."

Mr Vernon-Jackson said the project was "an important part of national infrastructure".

The council bid for £32m out of a £200m port infrastructure fund from government last year, but found out in December it would only be awarded £17m - leaving an £8m shortfall, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Vernon-Jackson added: "There are some funding issues but we hope we'll get over that."

Other Brexit measures are already under way at the port, including lorry checks being carried out at the Tipner triage point.

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