How will a France travel ban affect cargo moving from the UK into Europe and beyond. We would imagine quite severely. Is the travel ban justified. Now that is a real hard question to answer. With the political motivation and the souring of the UK-French relationship is there more to this ban. Certainly since leaving the EU the UK and France have been at odds over several key policies.
- Fishing rights
- Migrants crossing the North Sea
- Australia submarine deal
Politically motivated issues which the UK and France do not see eye to eye. France strategically is important to the UK and UK-EU trade. With the Euro-Tunnel and ferry operators providing access into Europe by road it is a vital trade route. Something a travel ban from France could hit hard.
We have seen recently with the French haulier strike disruption on this route. Air France having re-booked a number of shipments due to depart CDG as the cargo was not trucked. Between that and European disruption on trailer operations we are having to work very hard on picking the right gateways for cargo.Mark Reid : Branch manager : XPand Logistics Ltd.
French president Emmanual Macron only last week accused the UK government of failing to keep it’s word. Highlighting the tension which has arisen around the UK-French relationship.
the problem with the British government is that is does not do what it saysEmmanuel Macron : French President
The French president is heading towards a general election in early 2022 and looking tough is a key strategy.
France travel ban and Covid-19
If you look at the over-riding numbers for COVID-19 there is no case to answer. France has 8 and a half million cases to the UK’s 11 million cases. There case rates are climbing as fast as the UK’s if not slightly faster. The argument surrounding the new variant could be justified if all countries were doing the same volume of testing. It could be said that the UK’s Omicron numbers are down to better testing for variants. What you cannot see happening is that Omicron remains a UK specific issue with European borders remaining open for travel. Indeed the first case of Omicron in France was only 6 days after the variant was picked up in both the UK and Germany. 7 days after Belgium and the Netherlands.
France does have a Scarlet Red List and are using this to reduce travel into the country. Indeed South Africa has been on this list for a couple of weeks. They are still seeing people travelling who have the variant. If the goal is to prevent Omicron entering the country it is not working.
Freight travelling between the UK and France
At a previous travel ban hauliers were given some leeway on travel. Grant Shapps, British transport mininster, has had assurances that this remains the case this time. This will be a relief to the freight haulage industry. Some of which are in their busiest period of the year. If haulage to and from the EU through France remains open then the damage to trade could be minimal. It will be interesting to see if it lasts the lifetime of the travel restrictions or as Omicron cases increase the restrictions become tigher.