UK prime minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls from Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon to extend the transition period, when EU rules no longer apply to the UK, beyond the 31 December deadline.
Chaotic scenes in southeastern England have seen trucks parked on the M20 motorway leading into the Dover and Folkstone region as the French introduced a ban on accompanied freight and passengers at 11pm last night.
French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebarri has said that he is working to find an European-wide mechanism to allow freight to move between the UK and Europe and his UK counterpart, Grant Shapps said he is confident that the UK can deal with the situation.
“The French are keen for a resolution because it is primarily French and European goods that are exported, rather than British goods leaving the country” said Shapps. Though with the lorry queues stretching for some miles it is difficult to see how this might be the case.
In France the hauliers have described the situation in the UK as “catastrophic, while the UK’s Road Haulage Association’s Richard Burnett added, “It’s critical to understand that if it [the travel ban] goes on beyond 48 hours we will see some significant challenges.”