Dover takes legal action against government over checkpoints

Dover Port to overturn the “irrational” government’s decision not to fund a £ 33.5m project to increase passport checkpoints, which it says is needed to address post-Brexit immigration control We are taking legal action.

The UK channel port, which handles more EU heavy-duty truck cargo than all other UK ports combined, has been entitled to a judicial review by the Cabinet Office. Decided last December Do not fund projects that double your passport checking ability.

Dover applied for a grant from the £ 200m Port Infrastructure Fund last September, but was rejected because the fund collected more than £ 450m.

Dover’s lawyer sought a vacation to overturn the ruling in court, and the government acted “irrationally” and “contrary to published standards” of the Port Infrastructure Fund and acted “procedurally unfairly.” He said he did.

British government lawyers argue that the government has “wide discretion” in deciding which application to accept and that Dover’s application does not meet the full requirements of the fund’s rubric. I asked the court to refuse my application.

However, a judge in the High Court ruled that Dover raised a “clearly controversial” issue in court and allowed the case to be heard. Dover wants the government’s original decision to be abandoned and its application to be reconsidered.

The incident raises the possibility of serious disruption to cross-channel travel and trade as passenger numbers increase after the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. The French border guard has informed the port that passengers and truck drivers will face “100% immigration” after Brexit.

As a result of leaving the EU, UK passport holders will only be able to spend 180 days in the EU for 90 days without a visa and will need to receive a dated immigration stamp on their passport, check The time required for this has increased.

In a court filing, Dover said British border forces warned that a new check could reduce “flow” through Dover’s passport lanes to “50 people per hour per lane.” I did. Per hour, per lane.

Dover currently has only five passport lanes and is expected to have up to 20,000 cars a day on busy holiday weekends.

Under a special arrangement called “parallel control” designed to speed up the English Channel crossing, the French border and immigration are done in Dover, and passengers disembark without stopping when they arrive at Calais. I can do it.

Report of the Board of Audit November last year A new post-Brexit check estimated that it could mean a line of passengers 1-2 hours after January 1, but at peak times “the line and delay could be much longer.” I warned.

Travel restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic mean that NAO estimates have not been tested. The lack of passenger cars also helped maintain freight movement, with trucks currently using four of the five available lanes, but only one before Brexit.

Tim Riadon, head of EU exit planning for Dover, said French frontier police demanded additional booths and the UK government was obliged to provide them in accordance with an agreement on “parallel controls”. It was.

“This project is essential to maintain the flow of cargo and passengers. Currently, after Brexit, full immigration control is required. As a host of the French police, the British government will provide the resources they need. I have a legal obligation, “he said.

Downing Street said it would not comment on legal proceedings, but added that the government was “violently” disagreeing with the allegations from Dover Port.

Additional Report Jane Croft

Dover takes legal action against government over checkpoints

Source link Dover takes legal action against government over checkpoints

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