To Hull and back: catching the Zeebrugge ferry in Brexit’s shadow

Jon Henley speaks to customs officials, lorry drivers and tourists as he travels on the Pride of Bruges from Belgium to north-east England

On a chain-link fence beside a wet and windswept road in northern Belgium, a banner flaps bravely against the squalls whipping in from an angry sea. “Your gateway to the UK,” it proclaims, in English. “Brexit-proof Zeebrugge.”

That’s the plan, anyway. Since nobody in either the North Sea port or the small beach resort next to it knows what Brexit will actually look like yet, the promise may be something of a hostage to fortune. But they are working on it.

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