BRC responds to closure of French border

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has made comment on the news that European countries have closed their borders to the UK on Sunday night over the escalating Covid crisis, creating huge backlogs of freight deliveries.

Andrew Opie, BRC's Director of Food & Sustainability, said, “The closure of France to UK traffic, including accompanied freight poses difficulties for UK capacity to import and export key goods during the busy Christmas period.

'While goods can enter from France, few haulage firms will be willing to send trucks and drivers across to the UK without a guarantee they can return to the EU in a timely manner. This is a key supply route for fresh produce at this time of year: the channel crossings see 10,000 trucks passing daily during peak periods such as in the run up to Christmas.

“We urge the UK Government and the EU to find a pragmatic solution to this as soon as possible, to prevent disruption for consumers. Retailers have stocked up on goods ahead of Christmas which should prevent immediate problems.

'However, any prolonged closure of the French border would be a problem as the UK enters the final weeks before the transition ends on 31st December.”