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Jacob Rees-Mogg: I was wrong to say Brexit would not cause Dover delays

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theguardian.com

Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted he was wrong to say there would be no delays at the port of Dover caused by the UK leaving the EU.But the Brexit opportunities minister maintained the government line that the French, not Brexit, had caused the recent delays, in a radio interview on Tuesday.LBC radio replayed a claim from 2018 when he insisted “there will be no need for checks at Dover” and he was clear that “the delays will not be at Dover, they will be at Calais”.Rees-Mogg blamed Paris for the “French-created delays” witnessed recently before he was asked if he would apologise for getting it wrong.“Yes, of course I got it wrong, but I got it wrong for the right reason, if I may put it that way,” he said.“The point I was making was that the only delays would be caused by the French if they decided not to allow British people to pass through freely.

They have decided to do that.”Rees-Mogg went on to suggest that Britons might believe “going to Portugal is more fun because the Portuguese want us to go and the French are being difficult”.“Why should we go and spend our hard-earned money in France if the French don’t want us?” he asked before insisting he was not calling for a boycott.Authorities in Dover declared a critical incident as gridlock meant delays of up to five to six hours and volunteer staff handing out water in bumper-to-bumper traffic.Both Port of Dover and Eurotunnel, which operates rail and car rail transportation across the Channel, have said the delays were caused by the extra checks now needed on British passports.Under the Le Touquet agreement between France and the UK, French border control staff are stationed on the British side of the Channel.Before Brexit, when freedom of movement existed for EU

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