Blaming Brexit for Dover chaos is ‘lame excuse’, Tory MP says
The Port of Dover declared a critical incident over the weekend after passengers were caught up in 14-hour-long queues. Downing Street has admitted that “new processes” which were brought in following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union played a role in the disruption. While many have pointed the finger at the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, a new Express.co.uk poll has shown almost 70 percent think Brexit is not to blame.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said a “combination of factors” caused the delays including poor weather, a high volume of coach journeys and the fact French officials are now “inspecting and stamping every single passport”.
They added: “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.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman previously denied that Brexit was to blame for the chaos. She told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I don’t think that is fair to say that this is an adverse effect of Brexit.
“I think we have seen we have had many years now since leaving the European Union and there’s been, on the whole, very good cooperation and processes. But at acute times, when there’s a lot of pressure crossing the Channel whether the tunnel or the ferries, then I think there’s always going to be a backup.”
In a poll that ran from 3pm on Monday, April 3, to 5pm on Tuesday, April 4, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Do you think Brexit is to blame for Dover delays?”
Overall, 6,486 readers responded, with 69 percent (4,468 people) answering, “no”, Brexit is not to blame.
Meanwhile, 31 percent (1,987 people) said, “yes”, it is, and a further 31 people said they did not know either way.
Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on Brexit’s impact on the disruption.
Of those who argued that Brexit was not at fault as queues regularly occurred at Dover, username worldgonemad2023 said: “There have always been queues at Dover, decades before Brexit was even thought of.”
Similarly, username Lazy Git said: “The Easter delays at the Port of Dover have happened year in, year out for as long as I can remember and certainly long before we left the EU. Brexit is just the latest in a long line of excuses.”
And username garypen added: “We’re nearly seven years on from the Brexit vote and yes Brexit has caused some problems for the UK. But for how much longer can we continue to blame Brexit for any of the UKs woes?”
Other readers, however, were of the opposite opinion. Username BF writing that it was “bound to have contributed”.
Another, username TheGreatValiantMan, said: “You vote for a hard border and more checks and guess what happens? I know it’s difficult to comprehend but if your Government signs a deal that demands the date on your passport is checked, and then stamped, it tends to take a bit longer than it used to when these checks were not required.”
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