Infamous Manston Airfield, the vast number of trucks and horns sounded by angry drivers – this is not another recording from the blockade that took place before Christmas. This is a clip taken last Friday, on the 22nd of January. As you can see, the freight movement between UK and EU gets more and more problematic and the attempt to ship back to the continent might take you even a whole week.
Our reader Kamil shared his report with us, attaching the clip you can see above. His run from Poland to Great Britain happened without major difficulties and ended with unloading in Manchester. After that he loaded freight going back to Europe, but it took him a week longer than planned to get back there. Just a process of exiting the UK took 6 days, mostly spent on waiting for customs documentation. According to some estimates (source in Polish here), 80, or even 90% of British companies still have problems with customs. No wonder, that Kamil had a chance to meet drivers who were waiting to have their customs cleared for almost a fortnight.
Before he was finally allowed to leave for the port, not only custom formalities were finalized but also a quick COVID-19 tests. All drivers returning from Britain to France, Belgium or the Netherlands still have to be tested. And even though all those requirements were sorted well before even approaching Dover, the drive to the cost turned to be not easy either.
If Kamil was to use the Channel Tunnel, he would be able to drive straight towards the terminal. But he was to use the ferry, and Britons are doing everything to avoid having trucks queuing in Dover. This is why the signs directed his truck to Manston Airport – the very same, where thousands of drivers were forced to spend their Christmas last year.
At the airport, his truck received a green sticker for its windscreen and Kamil was told to wait in the queue to leave the airport. The trucks were released in small batches, so the queue was moving forward every 5 or 10 minutes. This took 6 hours, finally, also Kamil was free to go to Dover. He reached the port after 6 days of struggle with the formality to find an almost empty port that was handing tickets for the next available ferry.
The drivers who work solely in the European Union that can sound like some kind of fantasy. But those, who travel East from Poland can find some familiar elements. This is the best proof that the United Kingdom has become typical “third country”, and the Brexit deal with the EU does not really help much.