Jacob Rees-Mogg said people should go on holiday to Portugal if they want to avoid the huge queues at Dover.
The Brexit options minister has insisted that the UK’s exit from the EU is irrelevant the traffic chaos faced by holidaymakers trying to cross the English Channel – pointing out Portugal’s use of e-gates for British travellers.
He blamed the French for the blockades for “not having enough people to man the extra stalls” put up by the Port of Dover.
He told reporters. “If the French decide not to provide the necessary immigration officers, there will be queues, but that was the decision of the French.
“I mean it’s worth noting that the Portuguese allowed the British to use electronic gates to enter Portugal. So it’s possible that people will find it easier to go on holiday to Portugal.”
He added that Portugal is our oldest ally, “so we must always be very kind to the Portuguese.”
Comments come after AA prematurely issued its first amber traffic warningsaying this weekend will be “extremely busy” with all eyes on Dover and Folkestone following the chaos of the run-off since the start of the summer holidays.
Holidaymakers trying to cross the English Channel have faced major delays due to traffic jams in recent weeks, with people stuck in traffic jams for several hours.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is backed by Mr Rees-Mogg in the Tory leadership race, also blamed the French for the delays.
But French authorities have hit back at the claims, saying the chaos at the ports is due to increased passport checks after Brexit.
Dover port ‘too small’
French MP for Calais Pierre-Henri Dumaux told Sky News last week: “The port of Dover is too small for this amount of people.
“Two years ago, the British Tory government decided not to give money to the port of Dover to increase the number of kiosks there for the French police.
“Because of Brexit, we’re going to have to do more passport checks, so this is your future for years to come if you don’t take action.”
By Thursday morning, Dover was already experiencing traffic jams, long lines and traffic jams at the port.
The port expects to handle about 140,000 passengers, 45,000 cars and 18,000 trucks from Thursday to Sunday.
People planning to use the Port of Dover are advised to allow extra time for journeys and ensure they have enough food and water.
In early July, the port told passengers they would have to wait an average of 60-90 minutes at French border controls during peak periods as UK tourists were “subject to enhanced checks” due to Brexit.
Labor party leader Anneliese Dodds said the government had failed to “get to grips” with the problem, calling it “chaos”.
Jacob Rees-Mogg says people should go on holiday to Portugal to avoid queues at Dover | Political News
SourceJacob Rees-Mogg says people should go on holiday to Portugal to avoid queues at Dover | Political News