Brexit blamed for delays as British lorry drivers and commuters face traffic jam at Dover

Brexit blamed for delays as British lorry drivers and commuters face traffic jam at Dover
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Tourists and HGVs were stuck in traffic jams en route to the southern England port of Kent on Saturday, with the port admitting “it’s going to be very busy today” and travelers being warned about waiting. four hours.

The UK and France have been embroiled in a round of accusations over the cause of the stalemate, with British lawmakers blaming staffing on the French side, and French officials nodding to ramp up post-Brexit customs checks. .

“The British are right to complain, because there are traffic jams. But it’s not the French’s fault, it’s Brexit’s fault,” French MP for Calais, Pierre-Henri Dumont, told French public radio France Info.

“The reality is that these are the first holidays after Brexit. After the definitive exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union and without travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic… the French border force carries out controls as it should do for an entry in the European Union, so it takes time,” he said.

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The French MP also blamed the size of the port of Dover, which he said is “three times smaller than the port of Calais”.

Port of Dover chief executive Doug Bannister accepted that Brexit had caused delays, telling LBC on Saturday that his team “recognized that we are in a post-Brexit environment, which means that transaction times through the borders will be longer”.

But British lawmakers have insisted that a lack of staff in Calais has clogged the route across the Channel.

Liz Truss, Britain’s Foreign Secretary and favorite to win a two person race to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister, he said “this terrible situation should have been totally avoidable and is unacceptable”.

“We need France to act to increase capacity at the border to limit any further disruption to British tourists and to ensure this dire situation is avoided in the future. We will work with the French authorities to find a solution,” Truss said in a statement. Friday statement.

Brexit has mandated additional security and passport checks for British travelers entering the EU.

Dumont said all booths handed over by British authorities in Dover to French police in Dover were fully staffed, although he acknowledged a slight delay in the early hours of Friday due to “a technical fault”.

He denied accusations made in the British press about the “intentional desire to punish the British”, adding that there are “many French families who make a living crossing the English Channel. Sailors, men and women who are on land”.

P&O Ferries told passengers to wait up to four hours to get through security checks in Dover on Saturday morning.

Relations between Britain and France have become increasingly tense since Britain left the European Union, with leaders from both countries embroiled in disputes over travel and over migrant ships crossing the canal.

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