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Monday 3 April 2023

Thanks Brexit: chaos continues at British port

Thousands of travellers have spent the past two days stuck in queues at the British port of Dover.

British Home Secretary Cruella Braverman denied that post-Brexit checks were to blame for the chaos, even though such delays were rare when Britain was part of the EU.

Despite extra sailings having been put in place, P&O Ferries said on Sunday afternoon that coaches arriving at the cruise terminal would be likely face a total wait of over 10 hours owing to the border formalities required and a lack of border staff.

Angry customers bombarded ferry companies and the port with complaints, British media reported.

The port said ferry companies received 15% more coach bookings for the Easter period than had been expected.

Boarding coachloads of passengers is much slower than boarding cars

Speaking on Sky News, Braverman said operations at borders crossings had been “very good” since Britain exited the EU.

“I don’t think that’s fair to say that this has been an adverse effect of Brexit,” she said. “We’ve had many years now since leaving the European Union and there’s been, on the whole, very good operations and processes at the border.

“At acute times where there is a lot of pressure crossing the Channel, whether that’s on tunnel or ferries, then I think there’s always going to be a backup. I just urge everybody to be a bit patient while the ferry companies work their way through the backlog.”

Later, speaking to the BBC, Braverman denied the situation at Dover would repeat itself and blamed “bad weather” and heavier than expected bookings.

She was lambasted by opposition politicians for being "out of touch".

Now Britain has left the EU, French officials need to do individual passport checks, which wer not needed before.

Caroline Lucas, a Greens Party MP, described Braverman as being “on another planet as usual”.

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