Boris Johnson says French employees shortages and a motorway accident – not Brexit – are responsible for the distress of holidaymakers going through lengthy delays at Kent ports.
The UK’s departure from the European Union means travellers face extra rigorous passport and different checks earlier than crossing the Channel, the place beforehand they had been largely waved by means of.
But the prime minister’s spokesman mentioned they didn’t “necessitate” the large queues seen on the weekend, whereas declining to say they performed no half in any respect.
The issues had been attributable to a mixture of things “including a shortage of French border control staff and there was a serious accident on the M20”.
“These are not scenes that we think are necessitated by leaving the European Union,” the spokesman mentioned, including: “We think we have operational procedures and processes in place that do not need to see these levels of queues.”
No 10 additionally stepped again from calling on France to cease stamping the passports of travelling Britons – which Paris says is required now the UK is a “third country” not an EU member.
“It is for, obviously, individual governments to decide how to carry out checks at the border. Our view is that these should be done proportionately and sensibly given the good working relationships that we have,” the spokesman mentioned.
Asked whether or not the federal government believed the French method was proportionate and wise, the spokesman mentioned: “It’s not for me to pass judgment.”
He was additionally unable to say why the Port of Dover’s £33m software for brand spanking new infrastructure to deal with longer checks and extra queuing was rejected, as reported.
The port had been given further staffing cubicles, extra parking areas and two additional lanes for freight site visitors, Downing Street mentioned.