France has placed a 48-hour suspension on receiving cargo from Britain following the discovery of a new variant of COVID-19 in the UK. Craig Mackinlay, the Conservative MP for South Thanet, told the BBC that the UK is being punished for having an advanced scientific community that can detect changes in the coronavirus.
Mr Mackinlay said: “This needs to be resolved very quickly, you cannot help but feel this is an intentional blockade by France.
“I can understand their concerns about the new variant of the virus but it is strange isn’t it?
“Because we have an advanced scientific community that has mapped out this variant, we are almost getting blamed for it.
“Whereas there are other countries around the world where I am sure there are variant strains but because they do not have the scientific community who can actually identify them people are blissfully unaware.”
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He added: “Testing has got to be the way forward to satisfy the French hat lorry drivers are clean.
“Lorry drivers tend to stay close to their trucks if not living in the trucks and they have not been mixing they have not been in the pubs.
“I find it hard to believe that they are infectious.”
On Tuesday morning, the Home Secretary was grilled on the “grim situation” that has left lorries stranded across the UK.
Ms Patel told BBC Breakfast: “First of all, the number of lorries continues to fluctuate so the numbers will be different from when Grant spoke yesterday to this morning.
“The numbers do fluctuate, and I think Highways England has actually confirmed overnight that the numbers were approximately 900 but those numbers change all the time.”
She added on the prospect of testing at the border: “We are doing mass testing across the country so that is correct, testing of some sort is part of the discussions the Transport Secretary is having with his counterpart in France.
“So, I don’t want to speculate on the nature of the testing and how soon that could be up and running.”