Brexiteers have hit back at claims Britain’s freedom from the EU was responsible for large queues at ports. They highlighted checks being carried out to ensure all those travelling were COVID safe were likely to have had a significant impact.
Travel chaos gripped roads around Dover and other crossings to the continent last month after schools broke up for the summer holidays.
- The weekend of July 24-25 saw nearly 142,000 people travel through the port of Dover.
Freight and holiday traffic trying to find a way through to the Kent port on Friday flooded local roads, causing gridlock and disruption.
There was also a serial shortage of French staff, with just two border posts initially open.
A last-minute scramble to put extra staff took place in order to cope with demand.
France blamed Brexit for the hours-long delays.
Emmanuel Macron’s transport minister, Clement Beaune, said: “The French authorities are mobilised to control our borders and facilitate the traffic as much as possible.”
“I discussed this constructively with my counterpart Grant Shapps.”
“But France is not responsible for Brexit.”
- However, at the time, border officials were still carrying out individual checks for a COVID vaccination or a negative test.
Britain abandoned COVID travel requirements for international visitors in March.
Conservative MP John Redwood Told Express.co.uk: “It’s French attitude.”
“If the French had wanted to welcome visitors in, they could have streamlined their border control.”
“I was clearly people being held up by the way France polices her borders.”
“There appears to have been excessive COVID paperwork.”
“And we know there was a shortage of staff at the time.”
France finally dropped all Covid entry requirements yesterday.
- Mr Beaune said yesterday: “From this Monday, August 1, border health measures are lifted for travel to and from France.”
- “Let’s continue to fight against COVID-19 with responsibility: the mask is strongly recommended on transport.”