Dover port boss blames Brexit for delays as he explains passport 'checks and stamps'

23 July 2022, 12:49

By Tim Dodd

Port of Dover boss Doug Bannister has told LBC that it's "absolutely true" that Brexit is ultimately to blame for the extreme delays at the port of Dover because passports require extra checks.

Friday - when the port declared a "critical incident" - saw holidaymakers get stuck in six-hour queues as officials in Britain and France traded accusations in a blame game, and today motorists have already hit waits of more than two hours.

Travellers have been warned again to brace for queues and told to allow at least five hours to get their ferry to the continent, with 10,000 cars expected to travel through today – up on the 8,500 yesterday.

Mr Bannister told Ben Kentish: "We are in a post-Brexit environment, which means the transaction times through the borders are going to take longer because the passports need to be checked, they need to be stamped etc.

"So what we did in response to that is come up with a rather detailed plan for our traffic volumes throughout the entire summer. But we've also installed new, interim border authority kiosks to be able to operate from and handle the business on the busiest days."

Read more: Holidaymakers' fury at Dover's 'critical incident' as six-hour queues blamed on French

When asked if Brexit was the wider issue behind the delays, Mr Bannister said: "That is absolutely true, and indeed that was a primary planning assumption that we all worked towards for coming up with the summer plan.

"We knew what the checks were going to be like, we've been operating this way since we left the European Union."