London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Post-Brexit checks contributed to Dover delay, says No 10

Post-Brexit checks contributed to Dover delay, says No 10

Downing Street has conceded that "new processes" brought in after Brexit played a role in days of chaotic travel queues at Dover.

Officials blamed slow border processing and more coaches than expected for 12-hour queues for ferries from Dover.

On Sunday, Suella Braverman said it would be unfair to view the delays as an "effect of Brexit".

But the PM's spokesman said the government was "in discussion" to speed up new passport checks in France.

Rishi Sunak's official spokesperson said "a combination of factors" were to blame for delays - including poor weather and the high volume of traffic.

Asked whether Brexit was one of the factors, the spokesman noted French officials now manually inspected and stamped every passport as passengers left the UK, which required time.

The spokesman said: "We recognise there are new processes in place - that's why authorities were given a long time to prepare for the new checks, including during the transition period, of course.

"And we are in discussion with our French counterparts about how we can further improve the flow of traffic."

Delays to access ferries to France from Dover were first reported on Friday night when the port declared a critical incident.

Extra ferries that were laid on overnight on Saturday were not enough to prevent the queues at Dover increasing through much of Sunday.

Officials have explained that long border processing times were partly to blame for delays - and ferry companies said bad weather had disrupted some journeys.

The port said ferry companies received 15% more coach bookings for the Easter period than what had been expected - which take longer to process than cars.

Dover also faced enormous disruption ahead of the spring getaway last year, with thousands of lorries queuing to leave the country.

However, Christine Dixon, director of Cranberry Coachways, said the situation was much worse than previous years.

"We have had delays [before] but nothing at all like this," she told BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

She added that coaches were booked 12 months in advance by holiday companies and the port "should have known what to expect".

Teacher Will Gresswell waited at Dover for 40 hours with 67 teenagers on a coach heading on a school football trip to Costa Brava.

"We had heard a bit on the news that there might be queues, and we had plenty of water and some crisps and bits and pieces on board," he said.

"But there were a number of other coaches in the queues that didn't have anything."

He added that a nearby coffeeshop had a "constant queue" of around an hour and a half.

"People were trying to get information but there was no real information coming forward," he said.


Brexit delays


Home Secretary Suella Braverman told the Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme on Sky it would not be fair to view the delays as "an adverse effect of Brexit".

Sir Keir told LBC on Monday: "Of course Brexit has had an impact - there are more checks to be done.

"That doesn't mean that I am advocating a reversal of Brexit, I am not. I have always said there is no case now for going back in."

He added: "Once we left, it was obvious that what had to happen at the border would change.

"Whichever way you voted, that was obvious. Whichever way you voted, you are entitled to have a government that recognises that and plans ahead."

Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrats' spokesman for home affairs, accused the government of being "in complete denial about the impact of their botched deal with Europe".

"Businesses and travellers are tied up in reams of red tape but ministers are refusing to lift a finger," he said.

"It shows the Conservative Party is out of touch, out of excuses and should be out of power."

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
World Court Orders Immediate Halt to Israeli Offensive in Gaza
Understanding FLiRT COVID Variants and Their Impact
Baltic NATO Members to Construct 'Drone Wall'
Global Life Expectancy Dropped By 2 Years Due To COVID-19
Macron Halts New Caledonia Voting Reform After Riots
Rishi Sunak Shelves Rwanda and Smoking Policies Ahead of Election
US Refuses World Court Jurisdiction
China Conducts Surprise Military Drills Around Taiwan
Grim Polls Predict Major Loss for PM Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak's Campaign for UK Election: Key Issues Highlighted
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
Princess of Wales's Taskforce Calls for Business Investment in Early Childhood
Campaign Groups Condemn UK Report on Protests
Former Royal Marine Charged with Espionage Found Dead
Australian PM Calls for Julian Assange's Freedom
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
UK's Infected Blood Scandal: Conclusion Nears After Seven Years
Julian Assange Granted Right to Challenge US Extradition
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles
New Dutch Government Drives Wedge Through EU Liberals
Iranian President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Goes Down
Freemasons and ‘Global War Party’ Accused of Conspiring Against Georgia
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Chevron Halts North Sea Drilling Amid Rising Tax Burden
Jeremy Hunt Accused of Exaggerating Conservatives' Economic Record
Victoria Atkins Discusses Historical Gender Bias in the NHS
Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 50th Anniversary: Calls for Justice
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty’s Wealth Rises to £651 Million
New Caledonia Riots Escalate After French Voting Rights Change
Renters Face Fierce Competition as Listing Times Shrink
Surge in Fake Science: 19 journals shut down due to fraudulent papers from 'paper mills'
Global Birthrates Decline, Raising Economic and Social Concerns
Boeing Faces Possible Prosecution Over 737 MAX Settlement Violation
Prisoner Escapes in France as Two Officers Killed in Van Ambush
German Court Rules AfD Can Be Monitored for Extremism
Jacob Rees-Mogg Criticizes Bank of England’s Inflation Strategy
×