MP says people should holiday in UK to avoid being stuck at Dover

By Lisa James
03/04/2023
Home » MP says people should holiday in UK to avoid being stuck at Dover

Tory MP John Redwood has spared a social media backlash after saying people should holiday in the UK to avoid long delays at Dover.

Sir John tweeted his ‘advice’ in response to chaos at Port of Dover over the weekend, which saw travellers heading to Europe delayed by up to 19 hours at the start of the Easter holidays.

The situation caused authorities to declare a critical incident on Saturday, with long lines of coaches queueing to enter the port, many with school children on board.

On Sunday morning, the MP for Wokingham tweeted: “Why not take a holiday break in the UK to avoid the delays into France? Plenty of great places to stay.”

Twitter users responded by saying UK beaches weren’t safe and that it was cheaper to holiday abroad than in the UK.

“Great! Could you please recommend a beach? Preferably one where there’s a low level of floating human waste,” said one.

“Hahah I remember looking a while ago as fancied a trip to Hebden Bridge and it was cheaper to go to Amsterdam by train,” another said.

“It comes *cheaper* to travel from the UK to say Spain to holiday there for two weeks than say Blackpool for five days. Everything is mega expensive in Brexitania. And the sun is shining,” said another.

Sir John followed his original tweet with another, saying: “If the French want happy UK visitors they should make it easier to get in through their ports” – which prompted angry responses about extra checks caused by Brexit.

Ferry companies apologised for the delays, but bosses at the Port of Dover expressed frustration at the delays which authorities said were caused by increased traffic, earlier bad weather and delays in processing.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman denied Brexit was to blame when she appeared on Sky News on Sunday morning.

Extra sailings were added throughout the night on Saturday to help clear the backlog of passengers and coaches have now made it into the port but still face possible delays as customs officials carry out border checks today (Monday).

Meanwhile, the Government is meeting with representatives from the Port of Dover, ferry companies and French border police today to discuss how to avoid such severe delays in the future.

Travel journalist Simon Calder said this morning he fears ferry companies will implement a solution similar to that of Eurostar, which is operating with a third fewer passengers in order to free up security queues.

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