Holidaymakers and HGVs were left stranded in traffic jams en route to the port in Kent, southern England, on Saturday, with the port admitting ‘today is going to be very busy’ and the travelers being warned of the four-hour wait.
The UK and France have been locked in a series of finger-pointing over the cause of the traffic jam, with UK lawmakers blaming staff on the French side and French officials nodding to increased customs checks after Brexit.
“The British are right to complain, because there are traffic jams. But it’s not the fault of the French, it’s the fault of Brexit,” French MP for Calais Pierre-Henri Dumont told the radio. French public France Info.
“The reality is that this is the first post-Brexit holiday. With the UK leaving the European Union for good and with no travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic…French border forces are carrying out checks like they have to do it for entry into the European Union and so it takes time,” he said.
The French MP also questioned 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 acknowledged that Brexit had caused delays, telling LBC on Saturday that his team “recognizes that we are in a post-Brexit environment, which means transaction times across the borders will take longer”.
But UK lawmakers have insisted the lack of staff in Calais has clogged the route across the Channel.
“We need action from France to build capacity at the border to limit any further disruption to UK tourists and avoid this appalling situation in the future. We will work with the French authorities to find a solution. “Truss said in a statement. Friday statement.
Dumont said all cabins donated by UK authorities in Dover to French police in Dover were equipped to capacity, while acknowledging a slight delay in the early hours of Friday due to a “technical breakdown”.
He denied allegations made in the British press of an “intentional desire to punish the British”, adding that there are “many French families who live from the cross-Channel crossing. Sailors, men and women who are ashore”.
P&O Ferries has asked passengers to allow up to four hours to pass through security checks in Dover on Saturday morning.
Relations between Britain and France have become increasingly frayed since Britain left the European Union, with leaders of the two countries engaging in arguments over travel and migrant boats crossing the Channel.