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  • talks are continuing to try to end the French ban on people coming from the UK following the weekend's announcement about the spread of the new coronavirus variant, The French government says it will announce measures today that will allow transport links with Britain to resume and trade to flow across the channel again.

  • Boris Johnson and President Macron spoke yesterday following France's decision to close its border after growing concern about the new variant lorry drivers and Kent had to spend a second night sleeping in their vehicles waiting for the border with France to reopen yesterday, the prime minister said there were 1500 Lorries waiting and can't to cross back to the continent, but the Home Secretary has confirmed this figure is actually over that operation.

  • Brock, which was initially developed to ease post Brexit congestion, has now been implemented.

  • The EU has coordinated its response member states pressing for UK arrivals to be tested for the virus before entering their countries.

  • Retailers say there's plenty of food in the supply chain and supermarkets for Christmas.

  • However, they warn that unless the French border is reopened today, there will be disruption to supplies of fresh produce by the end of the week.

  • The UK is chief scientific adviser is warning.

  • This new variant is now everywhere and that MAWR areas may need to enter tier four.

  • Sir Patrick Balance says Lock down measures need to be increased in some places in due course, he said.

  • Not reduced.

  • And Northern Ireland's executive has voted against introducing a travel ban from England, Scotland and Wales.

  • We do have some pictures for you.

  • Look at that.

  • You can see the long Laurie cues from this morning.

  • They're stacked up for mile upon mile on the M 20 towards Dover.

  • So let's bring you right up to date with what is happening right there.

  • We can take you to our correspondent, Simon Jones.

  • Simon, how is it there at the moment, while the Lorries may well be stacked up on the M 20 but they're also parked up here in the center of the town.

  • Look, just behind me, this is a slip road.

  • There are Lorries away down there.

  • Things is one of the main lanes leading to the port of Dover on the Lorries have parked up there too.

  • So, in terms of the official figures from the government.

  • They told us this morning that around 650 Lorries were parked up on the M 20 motorway leading to Eurotunnel and also to the port on.

  • Then they said, another 873 were parked up at a big airfield, a now defunct airfield in Monster in Kent.

  • But the reality is those are the ones who are in the official parking spaces.

  • But here, if you drive around over, people have parked up anywhere they can any spot they confined right along the sea front that is full of vans and Lorries.

  • The car parks are full of vans to so Theophile Shal figure difficult to put an estimate on it.

  • But certainly lots of lots of people are caught up in this disruption.

  • And Simon, what is the expectation there off a decision between the U particularly and Boris Johnson?

  • We know those talks are taking place at the moment.

  • Yeah, we know that there have been conversations between the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

  • They are said to have bean going well, but we're waiting to hear a definitive outcome of those.

  • But what we're expecting is potentially.

  • France may say the border can reopen, but what they'll demand is there.

  • Anyone wanting to cross from the UK over to France will have toe have a negative Corona virus test on That will be a huge logistical operation, because when you're talking about hundreds, potentially even thousands of lorry drivers being caught up in a live this that is thousands of tests that will need to be done.

  • And often these tests the results may take a day or two to come through.

  • So potentially drivers here, even if they can get tested, may not get back in time for Christmas on.

  • If you're parked up on the road like this, lorry drivers are saying to us for Where can you get a test?

  • It's potentially three.

  • Government here may introduce tests that the official months and airport site where there are hundreds of drivers there.

  • But for others, they're just asking, How is this going toe happen?

  • And how will they get this negative test?

  • How will they get home?

  • Simon.

  • Thanks for joining us from Dover.

  • Well, our correspondent Gavin Lee is in Brussels for us, with more on France's decision to close the border they're gonna keep to this 48 hour period, which is ending a midnight tonight.

  • So there's no chance that suddenly we're being briefed from the French side.

  • There will be an early out, an early end to this blockage.

  • They are saying.

  • Well, Clement born, Who's the Deputy Europe minister, saying that there will be an announcement today on how they stop these measures, how they start to reopen the border.

  • One thing that they've said with certainty is that they will be asking for covert test rapid Kobe test and proof of negative testing before people leaves.

  • That means for for freight drivers in a frets, and is it possible to do it?

  • Is quicker is tomorrow.

  • I think that's a big question at the moment, and I know that the British side are still talking to the French.

  • We've just heard, actually, a French head of supermarkets at one of the big supermarket chains system you Dominique shelled er talking on French TV, saying that they've got trucks stuck on the UK side of the border with all sorts of fish and seasonal seafood produced, languished in scholarships, monkfish, for example.

  • He's saying which he said there will be definite shortages in friendship of markets ahead of Christmas.

  • We're looking at shortages tomorrow, looking at shortages on Christmas Eve as well, and he is saying desperately that the borders need to be reopened.

  • So the point is, Ben, the pressure isn't just on the UK side at the moment that French industry is putting pressure on its own government to let's join our political correspondent, Ian Watson, who is in Westminster for us.

  • Ian, what are you hearing about when we might get announcement on what's happening it over?

  • We may get announcement later today, just after lunchtime, but that doesn't mean that because there's a movement in talks is gonna be any movement off freight.

  • Certainly from what I'm hearing from government sources is that they don't think they'd be able to put in place any testing facilities by today.

  • They're not absolutely ruling out, but they think that would be difficult to achieve, that they need to get a plan to get Holly was tested on.

  • That's likely to take toe least until tomorrow, then the question that's been raised in the negotiations.

  • I think that's been touched upon by Gavin and Simon as well is what kind of tests are being required.

  • Is it the rapid lateral flow tests, which might miss the new variant or some cases of the new covered variant?

  • Or is it going to be the more traditional tests, where results could take between 24 48 hours?

  • That that's been a matter of negotiation?

  • We don't yet know what has been agreed.

  • If indeed, anything has with the French government.

  • Um, if they're going for the longer tests, then clearly it's going to take longer to clear the clear the backlog.

  • But even if they go for more rapid testing, the Road Hauliers Association has been saying this morning that with the new customs arrangements that have to be put in place, do or no deal with the European Union from the first of January, and then there likely to be some delays with the new customs procedures.

  • In any case, on then, if you start adding onto that, the burden off Holly is being tested that you could see not just delays, but of course, again, problems in delivering fresh produce.

  • So there are really issues here for the government to try and solve both political with the French and logistical on the basis of those negotiations.

  • So yes, an announcement likely today, but probably no movement of any freight out of the country into at least tomorrow in.

  • We're hearing a call took place last night between Boris Johnson and her style of underline.

  • Some of those issues probably came up, but do we have any other details of what they discussed fishing?

  • For instance?

  • Well, what's interesting about this call is actually, when we're getting disagreements between the two sides over a future trade deal, there's a degree of disagreement over the coal because I need you.

  • Official has confirmed that a call took place between those of underlying the EU commission president on Boris Johnson last night, but Downing Street are saying that they are not aware off the coal.

  • It's been described elsewhere as a secret call.

  • But I think what is interesting is that if the two leaders are in discussions, then clearly they are striving to get a Brexit deal over the line before the deadline on December the 31st.

  • I would be surprised if fishing wasn't being discussed.

  • There have been reports from Brussels that the UK has tabled a new offer on fishing to try to break the deadlock.

  • Some of the things that have been, uh, put into the public domain, for example, perhaps a five year transition period when new arrangements will be phased in again, Whitehall sources government sources here making it clear that do not recognize the specifics off that.

  • Nonetheless, um, they look as though both sides are trying to move towards each other on one of the major stumbling blocks to getting a deal.

  • But we're also being told, of course, there are some other issues which are still outstanding.

  • The issues, for example, of how much the government can subsidized businesses, industries in each country.

  • Whether this is fear between you in the UK, the UK said certainly felt it was imbalanced against the U.

  • K.

  • So there'll be other things to sort out.

  • The kind of steer that we're getting at the moment is that the talks are going to continue, but it may have to have a Christmas break on resume.

  • If there was going to be a deal with their own, MPs will be dragged back here to Westminster to ratify it on either the 29th or the 30th of December, but at the moment that deal is not yet there.

  • But I think it is interesting that we are getting discussions at a very high level at this crucial stage.

  • Ian, thank you so much.

talks are continuing to try to end the French ban on people coming from the UK following the weekend's announcement about the spread of the new coronavirus variant, The French government says it will announce measures today that will allow transport links with Britain to resume and trade to flow across the channel again.

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1,500 lorries stuck in Kent as UK talks to France - BBC News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/22
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