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European countries close borders with UK over Covid crisis

by Jonathan Adams
Covid crisis

The chaos caused by the Covid restrictions comes ahead of crucial Brexit talks

European countries closed their borders to the UK over the escalating Covid crisis, creating huge backlogs of freight deliveries.

France banned all travel for 48 hours from Sunday night whether by road, air, sea or rail.

Germany, Italy and the Netherlands ordered a suspension of flights from Britain, while Ireland said it would impose restrictions on flights and ferries.

Eurotunnel tweeted: UK-France border closes 23:00 GMT tonight. Last shuttle UK-FR is 21:34 GMT, please check in on time.

Belgium said it would close its borders to flights and trains – including the Eurostar service from London.

Normally about 10,000 lorries a day pass through Dover alone and the haulage industry is expressing alarm over supermarket supplies.

The chaos caused by the Covid restrictions comes at the beginning of a crucial week for the Brexit talks.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tonight called on Boris Johnson to extend the Brexit transition period, saying the new Covid strain demanded 100% focus on dealing with it.

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink tweeted his support for the FM.

I fully support this. It’s not about blaming anyone for where we are. Nor does it matter if you voted leave or remain. We just have to recognise everything has changed. We’re in a perfect storm & to roll into the biggest trade change in a lifetime now would be irresponsible, he said.

He added: Two companies we’ve spoken (to) highlight the nightmare. Close to £1m of perishable product on lorries en route to UK ports (that’s only 2 businesses). Now parked up for the night. Xmas delivery dates missed, losses grim.

Sterling dropped 0.82% to $1.3417 as the situation appeared to be deteriorating. A Cabinet meeting is expected to be called in Downing Street on Monday morning.

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