The Speaker
Sunday, 19 May 2024 – 18:22
Photo by Number 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

PM: Teams working to unblock cross-channel trade as soon as possible

Boris Johnson has said that he understands the concerns of the UK’s international friends and partners about the new strain of COVID-19 and that the UK Government is working with others to unblock cross channel trade as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that delays are only occurring at Dover and only human-handled freight are being affected. According to Mr Johnson, this is only around 20% of UK freight arriving from or going to the European continent.

Mr Johnson said that he had an “excellent” conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron earlier on Monday afternoon and that teams are working hard to resolve the problems, potentially within the next few hours.

Around 170 lorries were stuck at Dover on early Monday evening, though around 500 were stuck at the peak of the disruption.

The Prime Minister made the comments during a press conference from Downing Street on Monday evening. It comes after many countries have cancelled flights to and from the UK, while France has temporarily shut its border with the UK over fears of the new strain of the virus.

The PM has though indicated that people can continue to shop normally, despite fears over disruption to supply chains.

The new strain of the virus is understood to be up to 70% more transmissible than the older strain.

Speaking on Monday evening, the PM said that more than half a million people in the UK have now received their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The PM also faced a question on Brexit, with the end of the transition period fast approaching on 31 December. The PM said that the situation remained the same, and that even if no deal can be reached, the UK will still “prosper” on WTO terms.

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