Before the pandemic, I had a lovely day out in Liverpool. I did the waterfront tourist sites, spent a couple of hours at the Museum of Liverpool and had a drink in the Baltic Triangle.

It was all good – a very pleasant day and good to see the city being regenerated.

I actually went to college in Liverpool many years ago and at the time, frankly it was a bit of a dump but those bad times appear to have gone.

Of course, Liverpool’s maritime history is well documented. The city, along with Bristol and Glasgow, were ideally placed as west coast ports to handle the trans-Atlantic ‘triangular’ slave trade and many fortunes were made.

Even after the slave trade ended, Liverpool still continued to thrive and by the start of the 19th century, a large volume of trade was passing through Liverpool.

And during the Second World War, the city was the centre for planning the crucial Battle of the Atlantic, and suffered a blitz second only to London’s.

But times change.

Fast forward to the mid-20th century and Liverpool’s docks and traditional manufacturing industries went into sharp decline, with the advent of containerisation making the city’s docks obsolete.

Which brings us on to the present day and, you guessed it, Brexit.

Dominic Raab, when he was Brexit Secretary, famously came under fire for saying he ‘hadn’t quite understood’ how reliant UK trade in goods is on the Dover-Calais crossing.

The Brexit Secretary’s remarks came at a technology conference as he discussed the “bespoke arrangement” the UK sought with the EU after it leaves the bloc, which happens in less than 100 days.

He is reported as saying: “We are, and I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and if you look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing.

“I don’t think it’s a question so much of the risk of major shortages but I think probably the average consumer might not be aware of the full extent to which the choice of goods that we have in the stores are dependent on one or two very specific trade routes.”

And Dover is one of those very specific trade routes. Just to be clear, The Dover Straits now accounts for roughly three quarters of all roll-on, roll-off trade with Europe.

Looks like things aren’t going to well on that front, though, The minister for the Cabinet Office and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove has warned of a de facto Brexit border being introduced for lorry drivers entering Kent to travel on to the EU.

He told the Commons that lorry drivers would need a ‘Kent access permit’ to get into the county from 1 January with “police and ANPR cameras” enforcing the system.

Of course, this is the same Michael Gove who has warned of Brexit border chaos, with queues of up to 7,000 trucks in Kent and two-day trade delays in a ‘worst case scenario’ letter to the freight industry.

So what’s to be done about it? Ah yes, I know. Liverpool can step in and take up the slack. Yes, I know it’s at the wrong end of the country and on the wrong side as well but why let minor details like that get in the way. What’s a bit of geography and being hundreds of miles in the wrong direction between friends?

To be fair, punting Liverpool as the new Dover isn’t my idea, and yes, Liverpool remains an important port for freight but it is sort of in the wrong place.

But that doesn’t seem to be an obstacle. According to a report on the business-live website: The Port of Liverpool is ‘ideally placed’ to help overcome potential major Brexit delays that could soon hit Dover, Peel Ports has said.

The operator said its facility can contribute to the ‘Team UK Approach’ needed to solve the major delays in the south.

Peel Ports Group commercial director Stephen Carr said: “Potential delays and hold-ups post-Brexit underline the advantage of using ports closest to the origin or destination of goods.

“The Port of Liverpool is uniquely positioned to offer this proximity to market, which allows goods to reach their end destination more reliably and with less reliance on increasingly scarce truck drivers. This is a need which has never been more critical considering the changes in demand patterns we’ve seen this year, with added pressure of anticipated queues at Dover and long onward journeys from the south to the north of the country.”

Now while I’m not international shipping expert, it strikes me that Liverpool’s unique position is just not in the right place.

But time will tell. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it will all work out beautifully and maybe this whole Brexit thing wasn’t such a good idea after all.