Macron’s border ban is ‘utter madness’ as 2,800 lorries left trapped, rages ex-MEP
Macron's border closure decision is 'madness' says Tice
Former Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice claimed Emmanuel Macron has overplayed his hand by closing the French border in direct response to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the UK. The decision has lead to more than 2,800 HGVs being trapped in Kent. Talks between the UK and France to resolve the crisis at the Channel have included discussions on testing HGV drivers.
Speaking to talkRADIO, Mr Tice said: “I think he’s slightly overplayed his hand and cause a huge amount of angst that was totally unnecessary.
“Lorry drivers spend so many hours on their own and of course you can easily give them a quick test when they get to the port.
“You can deal with all this stuff as opposed to this bureaucratic dogma that stifles innovation and productivity.
“It’s just utter madness.”
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Brussels has said travel from the UK to the European Union should be “discouraged” due to fears about the mutant variant of coronavirus but bans on movement should be lifted.
The European Commission recommended a joint approach from EU members after individual countries imposed emergency restrictions.
The EU-wide approach recommended by the commission would allow essential travel, and transit of passengers should be facilitated.
Flight and train bans “should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions”, the commission said.
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EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders said: “Member states should take co-ordinated action to discourage non-essential travel between the UK and the EU.”
But “at the same time, blanket travel bans should not prevent thousands of EU and UK citizens from returning to their homes”.
Transport commissioner Adina Valean said: “Within the EU, it is crucial that transport workers are exempted from any restrictive measures.”
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The EU’s recommendation suggested rapid tests should be used to avoid disruption.
The commission said: “Cargo flows need to continue uninterrupted… not least to ensure the timely distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, for example.”
UK ministers have insisted that supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which is manufactured in Belgium, have not been affected by the disruption.
Despite the European Commission recommendations, Ireland extended restrictions on travel from Great Britain until December 31 which ban passenger flights and sea crossings.
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