Home Secretary Suella Braverman - never out of touch on issues such as immigration or border control, of course – has claimed it is “unfair” to blame Brexit for queues at the Port of Dover once again, even when the passport checks in place following UK’s decision to leave the European Union in 2016 have contributed to them happening.
It isn’t the first time these delays have happened, either, as chaos at Dover also occurred back in the summer of last year, when conservative commentator Andrew Pierce was saying we should “blame the French”.
No, we shouldn’t.
As for Ms Braverman, she told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I don’t think it’s fair to say this is an adverse effect of Brexit. We’ve had many years now since leaving the European Union and there’s been, on the whole, very good operations and processes at the border.”
No, it isn’t unfair.
In a piece published in The Independent on Saturday, travel columnist Simon Calder wrote: “’Blame’, though, is the wrong term here. We got what we signed up [for] after a democratic vote to leave the European Union and asking to become ‘third-country nationals’ in the eyes of the EU.
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“Non-Schengen EU citizens - for example, Irish passport holders who travel from Dover to Calais – still get a light touch. All the frontier officials can do is check it is a valid travel document and belongs to the person carrying it.
“We asked to become subject to the ‘90/180-day rule’, which means that our stays in the EU are strictly limited. For that to be policed, passports must be stamped – with, in theory, every page being examined for evidence of a recent stay in Europe.
“For a coachload of 50 people that is going to take a very long time, and if dozens of coaches are heading for Dover, trouble awaits.”
Mr Calder also said that the scenes witnessed this week are the “coach variant” of what we saw last year, when loads of families planned for a trip to the continent.
Oh, and if Mr Calder’s expert opinion wasn’t enough, then the actual CEO of the Port of Dover is pointing the finger at Brexit as well.
Doug Bannister told Sky News: “The difference of being in a post-Brexit environment, means that every passport needs to be checked before a vehicle or passenger can cross into the European Union through France – and that happens here in Dover, so it does make processing more challenging.”
\u201c\u201cIn a post Brexit environment, every passport needs to be checked.. That happens here in Dover.. And it does make processing more challenging.\u201d\n\nDough Bannister, CEO, Port of Dover explains how the queues in Dover are do to Brexit ending the free movement of people.\u201d— Farrukh (@Farrukh) 1680359456
Now, Twitter users are all too quick to point out to Brexiteers – such as Dover MP Natalie Elphicke – that the delays at port are kind of what people like her voted for:
\u201c"The queue in the British passport queue took an hour. The queue for Europeans took 5 minutes."\n\n"That's racism, pure and simple."\ud83d\ude21\n\nColin from Portsmouth demands a solution be found for the anti-British prejudice shown at airport security.\u201d— The Exploding Heads (@The Exploding Heads) 1680259895
\u201cBrexiters be like\u2026 \n\nNot quite the quick Easter getaway they were looking for. Suck it up! It\u2019s what was voted in. Unfortunately.\n\n#BrexitReality\u201d— Margo \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udf08 #FBPE #FBNHS (@Margo \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udf08 #FBPE #FBNHS) 1680420945
\u201cTory MP for Dover, Natalie Elphicke, complaining about the queues at Dover\n\nthat she campaigned for\n\nadvocated for\n\nand voted for\n\nFor some reason, she has replies switched off - the Tories really don't like accountability do they\n\n#BrexitReality\u201d— Russell England \ud83d\ude37\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc99\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83e\uddf3\ud83c\udf3b\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\uddff (@Russell England \ud83d\ude37\ud83d\udc89\ud83d\udc99\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83e\uddf3\ud83c\udf3b\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\uddff) 1680353473
\u201cIt's the 'will of the people' and you need to respect the democratic decision without moaning. \nBorders have two sides, and the EU is controlling theirs. \nOr did you not understand what you were voting for?\n#BrexitReality\u201d— Crondall4Europe \ud83c\udf45\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 \ud83d\udfe2\ud83d\udfe1\ud83d\udd34#RemoveRanil (@Crondall4Europe \ud83c\udf45\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 \ud83d\udfe2\ud83d\udfe1\ud83d\udd34#RemoveRanil) 1680338425
\u201cBlaming the French for Brexit is so Tory! \ud83e\udd37\ud83c\udffb\u200d\u2640\ufe0f\ud83e\udd26\ud83c\udffb\u200d\u2640\ufe0f\u201d— Fran \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde9\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\udf39 (@Fran \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde9\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\udf39) 1680422026
\u201cYou created this problem. Your government insisted on all the passport checks and paperwork. It's quite literally your fault.\u201d— Otto English (@Otto English) 1680363724
\u201cYou literally voted to introduce a hard border with France, you absolute saucepan.\u201d— LJ \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc77\udb40\udc6c\udb40\udc73\udb40\udc7f\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa (@LJ \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc77\udb40\udc6c\udb40\udc73\udb40\udc7f\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa) 1680359621
\u201cI\u2019m confused @NatalieElphicke - I thought you\u2019d voted to \u2018take back control\u2019 yet here you are still whining about the French. What\u2019s gone wrong?\u201d— Richard Thomson MP (@Richard Thomson MP) 1680364420
And when she's decrying criticism of Brexit for Dover delays, Ms Braverman is defending her government's controversial Rwanda policy, even when it's pointed out to her that 12 refugees were shot dead by the country's police force during protests in 2018...
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