Highways England has confirmed that work to deactivate Operation Brock will be carried out late on Tuesday but some restrictions will be left in place.
Operation Brock is the name for a series of measures that improve Kent’s resilience in the event of cross-channel disruption.
The government-owned company stated on Monday that Operation Brock ‘had been deployed now in response to potential delays at the ports in the coming days or weeks’. It did not specifically mention Brexit.
However, after the EU offered the UK a three-month extension to its membership, a Department for Transport spokesperson said: 'Following the agreement of an extension, the Government took the decision to stand down Operation Brock as soon as is practical.'
The EU confirmed the extension on Tuesday afternoon. Again without mentioning Brexit, Highways England said: ‘The deactivation reflects the decreased risk of disruption to services across the English Channel in coming days and weeks.’
A significant part of Operation Brock is keeping the M20 open in both directions by using a contraflow on the M20 London-bound carriageway between junctions 8 and 9 and directing lorries heading for mainland Europe onto the coastbound carriageway, where they can be queued if necessary.
Highways England said the contraflow will be removed on Tuesday, adding that on Wednesday morning there will be three lanes on the coastbound M20 operating at national speed limit and two narrow lanes Londonbound at 50mph.
‘This means Operation Brock can be activated again quickly if it is needed in the coming months.’
To make the changes the M20 will be closed to coastbound traffic between Junctions 7 and 9 from 8pm Tuesday until 6am Wednesday. A clearly signed diversion will direct traffic via the A249 and the M2.