In a move that is likely to cause disruption for thousands of people, it has been revealed that the Channel Tunnel will sensationally close permanently at midnight on 31st December 2016. 

According to a statement released a few minutes ago, a dispute between the British government, the French government and the European Union is to blame. 

A source said: ‘Shortly after the referendum result was announced, secret discussions began in Brussels to determine whether or not the land under the sea between Britain and France would be considered inside or outside of the EU.’

‘As it stands right now, half of the tunnel is French, and half is British – this has created a very difficult situation as technically a border control point would need to be built underground, halfway between the coasts of Britain and France.’

‘A feasibility study has been carried out to see if a new terminal could be built at this mid-point, and it seems that space issues would mean that bosses would need to choose between a Starbucks or a Burger King as there wouldn’t be room for both.’

We spoke to Jerome Robsonne, the EU’s Commissioner for Brexit Logistical Negotiations, and he told our Chief Reporter that he has been forced to take a ‘hard line’ on the issue. 

Wiping his teeth frantically, he added: ‘We are not prepared to merely let the United Kingdom continue to enjoy the benefits of the Channel Tunnel when their electorate has made it perfectly clear that they do not wish to remain in this political union.’

‘We have made it clear that a new terminal and control point must be built at the location of the new EU border, and unfortunately existing treaties have set this point as half-way across the English Channel.’

‘The French government has already inaugurated the town of Mouillé at this point at sea level in preparation for the new at-sea border point, but it seems that their British counterparts are not prepared to discuss the issue.’

‘We set a deadline of the end of 2016 for a resolution to be found, and a lack of progress means that the operator’s EU Tunnels and Tunneling license will be revoked at midnight on New Year’s Eve.’

According to passengers who are booked on Eurostar services, they have received an email to say that rail replacement buses will be operating between Folkestone and Calais while the dispute is ongoing, with Police officers commandeering the town of Maidstone for Operation Stack.