Polish PM, president intervene in lorrie situation at France-UK border

Vickie Flores/PAP/EPA

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has intervened with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over France-bound lorries stranded in the UK after France on Sunday imposed a ban on traffic from the UK.

"I am in direct contact with our services. I myself have also personally intervened with the President of France and the Prime Minister of Great Britain in the hope that this traffic jam will be quickly removed and the drivers will be able to move on," Morawiecki told a Tuesday press conference in Warsaw.

Also, President Andrzej Duda announced in a video posted on Twitter that, since early Tuesday morning, intensive consultations had been conducted with both the French authorities and the European Commission, regarding the situation of Polish truck drivers stranded in Great Britain due to the border closure.

"I would like to assure the Polish drivers, and their families, that we are doing everything we can to allow them to return home safely and as quickly as possible. We hope that this matter will be dealt with by the French side this evening," stated Duda.

The president also said that he had asked the Polish ambassador in London to launch consular services to provide diplomatic and consular assistance to Polish drivers, as well as humanitarian aid, if needed. Duda added that Polish and Polish organisations have also joined in this task.

An EU source told PAP that the issue was also raised by Poland's Ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sados, during a meeting of the ambassadors of the member states in Brussels concerning the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the EU.

According to the EU source, Sados raised the issue of the need to exclude the transport sector from travel restrictions and emphasized the need to maintain an uninterrupted flow of goods. Poland also appealed for a timely solution so that drivers could return to their countries as quickly as possible.

The British Foreign Ministry reported that more than 1,500 trucks were stuck in south-eastern England waiting to enter France. Due to a new variant of the coronavirus spreading in England, France closed its border on Sunday to arrivals from the UK for 48 hours. The ban applies to both passenger and freight traffic. As a result, huge traffic jams have occurred when accessing Dover, where the ferry port and the entrance to the English Channel Tunnel are located.