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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The British accuse the French of deliberately “sabotage” their holiday: Queuing up to six hours in Dover for passport checks

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In London they are already crying out for sabotage. The French make border controls impossible: and for thousands of British tourists on their way to Europe, forced to stay even queuing for six hours in the port of Dover, the dream of the long-awaited vacation has turned into a nightmare. The British authorities have declared the situation a “critical incident” with fears that the crisis could continue through the summer.

The scenes on the highways crashing into Dover are apocalyptic: thousands of bottled cars, people sitting on crash barriers in useless waiting, children and dogs wandering among the cars. Vacationers heading out are invited to bring water and food: but many in line stop drinking, even when dehydrated, so as not to have to search for a bathroom that isn’t there.

The disaster was caused by the French opening only four of the ten checkpoints. Under the London-Paris agreement, the documents are already being checked in Dover by French agents, who, however, have kept their presence to a minimum for days. After Brexit, British tourists will also have to get stamped in their passports, which doubles the waiting time, and in London there are people who suspect that this is all. a revenge by the French for Britain’s departure from the EU.

Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has spoken openly about “sabotage”. And Dover Harbor officials add that “the French, it seems, do everything they can to make it difficult for you. They point to the i, be it Covid checks, visas, financial standing”: hence the “impression” that it is retaliation for the tensions caused by Brexit.

For the past two years, London and Paris have clashed over Channel fishing rights – with Boris Johnson shipping the warships – not to mention differences over Northern Ireland and financial regulations. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is also in pole position for Johnson’s succession, spoke yesterday: «This terrible situation – he said – was completely avoidable and unacceptable. It is imperative that France takes steps to limit future inconvenience to British tourists and to ensure that this dire situation is avoided in the future.”

The minister added that she will try to “urgently” contact his counterpart in Paris, Catherine Colonna. The risk is now that the tourism emergency will turn into a diplomatic crisis

Source: Corriere

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