With Brexit Coming, London Heathrow Officials Are Worried About…Rubber Gloves?

Feb 8, 2019

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Two words: rubber gloves.

Yes — in preparation of a potential no-deal Brexit, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) staff have been stocking up all the rubber gloves and explosive detector swabs they can to ensure regular security checks on passengers through the transition. Those pieces of screening equipment ship from the EU.

As the March 29 deadline for the UK to leave the EU inches closer, LHR, which earned the top spot for the most connected airport in the world back in September, continues to see up to 200,000 passengers a day. If a no-deal Brexit passes, these air travelers could be looking at higher fares, immigration disputes and longer wait times to enter and exit the country.

So, as a measure to ensure that travel at the airport continues to run as smoothly as possible, LHR officials have been stockpiling essential materials produced outside of the UK for security checks such as rubber gloves and explosive detector swabs.

“Some of the other things that are more urgent are the rubber gloves that security officers wear when they are searching somebody. They come from the EU and if you don’t have them, you can’t search people,” LHR chief executive John Holland-Kaye said to The Guardian. “The fabric swabs that we use for detection also come from the EU, and there isn’t a UK supplier, so we need to make sure we’ve got a good stockpile of those. We’ve been working on that for some time.”

Despite the setbacks a no-deal Brexit might cause for the airport, Holland-Kaye has expressed confidence that flights would continue as usual and that there wouldn’t be stoppages on the importing and exporting of foreign goods.

Featured photo by Bojan89/Getty Images.

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