Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Stop buying French goods! Britons urged to boycott EU imports and avoid red tape headache


Record numbers of emergency traffic measures have been used so far this year to control congestion at the Port of Dover for lorries entering the EU. Figures from National Highways show the Dover Traffic Access Protocol (TAP) has been used 18 times in 2022, compared to a total of 69 last year.

French customs officials asking for “wet” signatures on documents is a key reason for the delays, according to business chiefs.

William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, told The Telegraph: “Like many of the problems this looks to be down to a differing interpretation of how the trade arrangements work after leaving the EU.

“It is the latest in a string of issues with the trade deal that speaks to the wider problems of interpretation, inconsistent application and glaring gaps in its coverage.”

Under TAP lorries are limited to travelling at 40mph and can only use the inside lane of the A20 approaching Dover.

Rod McKenzie, a spokesman for the Road Haulage Association, told Sky News: “The test will be if these queues and other issues subside as traders get used to the red tape. If they continue for much longer it suggests the problems may be more serious than just teething trouble.”

The delays have sparked fury among Express.co.uk readers with calls for people not to buy goods from France.

HRHretiredgasfitter urged: “BOYCOTT all things French!”

John994 commented: “The deliberate attempts by the EU to create as much trouble as possible will not be forgotten and many of us are taking personal revenge by boycotting EU produce wherever possible.

READ MORE ABOUT PRINCE ANDREW LASHING OUT AT A GARDENER

truthspeak63 raged: “This is France at its worst the only thing they understand is DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FRENCH, and that goes for holidays as well.”

PFD raged: “I WON’T BUY FRENCH WINE OR CHEESE, OR ANY PRODUCE FROM THAT COUNTRY. It’s not the people it’s their leader.”

In January, Baroness Vere said queues at Dover were a result of ferries being out of use and not due to new Brexit red tape introduced on January 1 at the border with the EU in both directions.

Exporters and hauliers now have to make customs declarations before travelling via the Government’s Goods Vehicle Movement System which also manages transit and security information.

Exporters had previously been granted a 60-day window in which to complete the paperwork after shipments had been made.

It comes as Northern Ireland’s Agriculture Minister ordered a halt from midnight on Wednesday to all post-Brexit checks on goods coming into the region from the rest of the UK in a move some of his partners in government said was unlawful.

Democratic Unionist Party member Edwin Poots cited legal advice that the measures should not have been introduced without approval from the regional government.

He added that he would seek a way forward in the near future.

Mr Poots told a news conference: “The advice concluded that I can direct the checks to cease in the absence of executive approval. I have now issued a formal instruction to halt all checks that were not in place on December 31, 2020.”

Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, told the nation’s upper house of parliament Mr Poots will effectively breach international law if he follows through on the plan.

He said: “If a political decision is taken by a minister in Northern Ireland to stop all checks in ports on goods coming across the Irish Sea that is effectively a breach of international law and I would remind everybody that the implementation of the (Northern Ireland) protocol is part of international law.

“To deliberately frustrate obligations under that treaty I think would be a very serious matter indeed. It is essentially playing politics with legal obligations and I certainly hope that it doesn’t happen, as has been threatened and described.”



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