DUBLIN: France has banned lorry freight from the UK as part of new COVID-19 restriction measures. The ban imposed by France during this Christmas season, which marks the end of the Brexit transition period, is of great concern.
French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari has announced that all transportation– air, rail and sea – from the UK will be suspended for at least 48 hours from midnight. The Port of Dover in Kent said all accompanied traffic from the UK has been suspended until further notice following France’s announcement.
Rod McKenzie, from the Road Haulage Association, said 10,000 lorries a day pass between Dover and Calais in France. “Brexit stockpiling is one thing, the Christmas rush is another thing, but the absolute hammer blow now is to close the borders for 48 hours,” he said. “That is a serious disruption of the all important supply chain,” Mr. McKenzie added.
Cancellation of flights adversely affected Christmas trips
Food and Drink Federation (FDF) CEO Ian Wright said: “Tonight’s suspension of accompanied freight traffic from the UK to France has the potential to cause serious disruption to UK Christmas fresh food supplies and exports of UK food and drink.
“The Government must very urgently persuade the French government to exempt accompanied freight from its ban,” the federation demanded.
Various sources warn that the extension of the travel ban at the end of the Brexit transition period could exacerbate the situation. British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said travel through the ports of Kent should be avoided.