Brexit chaos: ‘Blame the EU, blame France’ UK exporters erupt over border delays

Brexit: Expert says hauliers ‘blame EU’ for border delays

Exporters claimed they are struggling to get their lorries on the roads as they fave a “sudden ambush” of red tape. Channel 4 News reporter Alex Thomson visited a Kent logistics company facing severe disruption as a result of post-Brexit paperwork and border checks. Staff at the company blamed the European Union and “especially France” for the mess with paperwork keeping thousands of trucks of the roads, according to Mr Thomson.

David Zaccheo, General Manager at haulage firm Alcaline, told Channel 4 his lorries should be “out on the road earning money.”

He continued: “At the moment they are all parked up here obviously because we have got so many issues with paperwork to get out of the county at the moment.

“The customers themselves are probably as frustrated as we are because they want their shipments to get out and at the moment they are all here.”

Mr Thomson described the issues facing companies on the ground like Alcaline as “red tap, form filling, bureaucracy.”  

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He added that inside the firm’s office staff were working “flat out.” The staff inside “blame the EU, the French particularly,” according to Mr Thomson who added that the British Government is also blamed for a “mess that was predicted months back but feel here like a sudden ambush.”

“Our just in time system is creaking,” said Mr Thomson.

The presenter also pointed to reports of empty supermarkets shelves in Northern Ireland as evidence of the problems caused by the new export and import regulations at the borders.

He added: “Hauliers are warning that the red-tape tangle has slowed the flow of goods to a trickle.”

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Mr Zaccheo said: “It is only a matter of time until the big manufacturers are going to have to stop production altogether.

“Because if they can’t find the components or they can’t get the components in the country quick enough they will have no alternative but to shut the plants.”

Another logistics company has reportedly told Channel 4 News that one of the UK’s biggest automotive manufacturers could have to shut down in “a matter of days” because of the “form filling fiasco.”

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson hit back after the EU claimed Britain was responsible for musicians being denied visa-free access to the continent for tours.

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Over the weekend an EU source accused the UK of rejecting a “standard” proposal which would have exempted the artists from needing to get a work permit.

An EU source close to the negotiations told the Independent: “It is usually in our agreements with third countries, that work visas are not required for musicians.

“We tried to include it, but the UK said no.”

They added the Prime Minister refused the deal because he “said they were ending free moment”.

But this afternoon Downing Street said blame for the decision lay purely at the feet of Brussels.

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