Thousands of holidaying British families are stuck in queues in the port of Dover, waiting to travel across the English Channel to France. Unions, port officials and French authorities blame the queues for Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Some travelers had to queue for six hours or more to board the ferry. On Saturday morning, an estimated 3,000 truck drivers were waiting their turn. Wind queues for several kilometers across the Dover community.
The current British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, blames only the French, who she believes did not police the border with enough staff.
However, officials on both sides of the channel deny that staff shortages are to blame. Border controls and additional paperwork for shipping traffic were reintroduced when Britain left the European Union last year, and the free movement of people and goods was hampered.
Post-Covid test for Britain’s exit from the European Union
Queues of trucks have been seen occasionally in Dover since then, but for the first time this summer people can travel freely without COVID restrictions after the pandemic. It puts the situation on edge.
French parliamentarian Pierre-Henri Dumont, whose constituency includes Calais on the French side, described the travel chaos as a consequence of Brexit.
– Dumont tells the BBC: We have to do more checks than before.
Dover’s port manager, Doug Bannister, had previously accused the French of understaffing, but now agrees that Brexit has lengthened “transaction times”. The Customs and Border Workers union also believes the waiting lists are an “expected outcome” of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Now is the time to strike, says ISU’s Lucy Moreton.
Passengers must pass through British and French border control points before they are allowed to board the ferry.
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