The United Kingdom is now cut off from most of Europe after travel was cut off by its closest allies over fears of a new coronavirus being found in the country, wreaking havoc on families and companies just days before end of the transitional period for Britain’s exit from the EU.
France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Israel and Canada have cut off air travel to Britain after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Saturday that a highly corrupt newcomer is a danger to the country.
Johnson will chair an extraordinary session of his government today to discuss international connections, particularly the flow of cargo inside and outside Britain.
France has closed its border with Britain to transport people and trucks, blocking its main trade route with mainland Europe. The British Minister of Transport, Grand Saps, described this step as unexpected.
“I am in contact with my counterpart in France and we are doing everything we can to get it back on track, in fact we have been told that the transport companies want to start again as soon as possible,” Saps told Sky.
The British minister noted that the lifting of the bans as soon as possible is his priority, noting, however, that given Britain’s preparations for the end of the Brexit transition period, the country is prepared.
The British government has launched emergency plans to deal with transport delays in Kent in the south of England. Trucks are parked on the M20 motorway, which is closed to normal traffic. A nearby airport will also be used for cargo handling.
The travel chaos comes just days before the end of the Brexit transition period with or without a trade deal, negotiations on which continue between Britain and the EU.