France has not forgiven us Authorities slammed for Dover delays over Brexit revenge

France not 'co-operating' to sort travel chaos says Hunt

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Since the Port of Dover experienced massive delays and queues last weekend, the UK and French Governments have traded blows over who is to blame for the chaos. While Conservative leadership hopeful – and still Foreign Secretary under Boris Johnson’s Government – Liz Truss blamed French authorities, French Transport Secretary Clément Beaune put the blame on post-Brexit checks. Consultant Editor for The Daily Mail Andrew Pierce weighed in and argued last weekend’s chaos was the result of French resentment towards Brexit.

Andrew Pierce told GB News: “There’s no doubt that they’ve not forgiven us, the French. They just hate it. Macron can’t bear it.

“There were always checks coming and out of France because we were outside the Schengen Agreement. Those checks are now being enforced much more rigorously.

“They’re taking two minutes whereas before they would just check passports.

“But also, simply, there weren’t enough staff on the French side. There are plenty of boots but they’re empty. And I think it is partly a result of Brexit.

“And we just got a nuckoudan and get on with it.”

GB News’ Holmes then noted: “But you see, I don’t really see who these benefits. I mean, yeah, revenge is sweet and all that. But it’s in the French interest to have that boost to their economy and why do we just get tough with the French coming into the UK?”

Mr Pierce said: “That’s what we should do. I would apply the same rules. And when the queues start there, Macron is an impotent president now because he’s won the presidential election, but the French parliament has gone socialist and right-wing.

“He’s got no power. So, we could inflict quite a blow on him. But I think he’s spite for president if that’s the right word. And he really hates Brexit. He hated Boris Johnson, so he’s glad Boris is going. He won’t like Liz Truss very much either.”

Since the end of the Brexit transition in January 2021, the UK has left the EU’s single market and customs union, meaning more checks were put in place between Britain and the European Union.

So far, the UK Government has delayed border checks in a bid to help businesses prepare for checks and ease the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.  

In total, Boris Johnson’s Government has delayed border checks four times to avoid post-Brexit tariffs that could increase goods’ prices travelling from the EU.

In April of this year, the UK Government cited supply chain problems and pressures on the cost of living for delaying checks. Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Moggs then said adopting border checks now “would have been an act of self-harm if we were going to go ahead with it.”

Three months later, the few checks put in place are wreaking havoc in the Port of Dover. To make matters worse, Boris Johnson’s Government turned down a £33million bid to help upgrade the port to cope with additional pressures of Brexit.

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Roger Gough, leader of Kent county council, said: “We are still on a bit of a knife-edge. We have a fragile system at Dover port and it does not take much for it to fall over. The pressures are intense and there is concern it could go on for some time.”

Dismissing allegations that the shortage of French border officials is to blame, Lord Ricketts, a former ambassador to France, said: “The long-term, serious issue is that this is the first time we’ve seen the full pressure on the border after Brexit. Even if it was a full complement of the French border force there would still be massive delays, because Dover port can’t cope with the volume.

“The underlying reality is that no matter how many they have, given the size of the port, given the fact that the government failed to invest in expanding the facilities, it is going to be like this – this will be the new normal.”

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