Listeners Charles and James erupted into a furious row as they questioned the role Brexit has been playing in massive queues at the UK-France border at Dover. Holidaymakers and lorry drivers have been lamenting hours-long delays due to extra checks, with the UK Government blaming their French counterparts for failing to hire extra border checks ahead of the summer. The debate devolved into a full-out clash about Brexit, with Charles slamming Brexiteers for having “ripped apart” the UK to cut ties with the European Union.
Caller Charles said: “Ten years ago I was Ukip when it wasn’t trendy to be, so I was a Farage fan. But then I woke up and I woke up and got out of the cult, woke up to reality.
“You talk about sovereignty – what sovereignty did Britain not have in the EU? Do you remember the Iraq war? We went into that, Germans, the French said you mustn’t do it.
“I don’t think they stopped us going into the Iraq war so we had complete autonomy on our foreign policy.
“And these laws we keep talking about, these EU laws, they’re just really regulations which we would sign with any trade agreement.”
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James however insisted the UK must now do the best it can to ensure the Brexit vote is respected.
He said: “Unfortunately, we voted to leave. The destiny is in our hands and, unfortunately, if you don’t like, you have to swallow it because that’s the price of democracy.
“End of story. We voted to leave, it has to be honoured. We’re out.”
Charles hit back: “I’m sorry I’m a proud Remainer. I’m not just going to swallow my pride and watch my country being ripped apart, and, God forbid, we lose Northern Ireland.”
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The chief executive of the Port of Dover Doug Bannister said there will be increased transaction times at the border due to extra checks needed since Brexit,
Mr Bannister’s comments came after French politician Pierre-Henri Dumont blamed Brexit for the chaos seen on Friday.
He told the BBC Radio Four Today programme: “We are operating in a post-Brexit environment which does mean that passports need to be checked, they need to be stamped and indeed the capable people that do man the booths, Police aux Frontieres, they’re doing their job that they need to do now.”
He added that in a post-Brexit environment “there will be increased transaction times at the border” and that the port had “created more border capacity so that the overall throughput can be maintained”.
He said their modelling had shown that there will be some “very peak busy days during the summer season” but “for the most part we should be able to cope with the traffic”.