Once again Europe has shown us that they do not need us, nor want us unless they can benefit from our fisheries and various other industries which give them economic benefits whilst trying to prevent us from preserving our autonomy. The news that the Eurotunnel and Port of Dover have closed for at least 48 hours due to new French border restrictions without consulting the British shows the stubborn attitude that the EU is going to display as long as we stand firm against the wishes to give up our fishing rights.
It is understandable that snap decisions must be made throughout this crisis. However, the lack of discussion with the UK shows the EU’s ignorance towards Britain and how they disregard the impact the actions they take will have on us. The transportation of the Covid-19 vaccine is probably the most important reason to keep some form of transportation open between the UK and Europe as they are manufactured in Belgium but are vital to help stop the virus here.
The fact that many European countries have banned UK travel due to the new strand of COVID-19 makes sense, as domestically in the UK the new strand is suggested to be 70% more infectious than previous variants. However, it seems like a political move rather than concern for public health.
The disruption caused by this decision from France, especially in Dover, has been used as a stunt to try and show the hardships that Britain may face if we do leave the European Union on WTO terms. The media have jumped on this and have tried to make Britain look unprepared by saying food supplies and stocks could run short, even though stocks have been prepared for our departure from the EU. Luckily, our preparations have allowed this situation to be contained, and the disruption in Kent is far smaller than it would have been had the government not prepared for the end of the transition period. This preparation shows that Britain will be successful in whatever we may face after the transition period ends. The ban that countries such as France and Spain have implemented will fail before they begin. They hope to stop the spread of the new Covid strand, but reports are already suggesting that it has spread to Italy as well as the Netherlands and Denmark. This suggests that this mutation is likely to be in general circulation in most of Europe already. If travel bans had been imposed on China back in early 2020 or late 2019 when the virus first emerged, we might not have had to suffer the hardships of numerous lockdowns and a devastated economy.
The act of banning travel now is completely useless in my opinion, as the virus has already got a stronghold across most of the world and efforts should focus on defeating the virus, rather than through stopping trade and damaging global economies. Methods such as isolation periods through travel corridors allow for this to happen, whilst trying to keep the world functioning, even if it is different from life, we are used to.
If France and the rest of Europe expect the British to compromise or even give into demands they are setting; they will be the ones who cause us to leave without a deal. Britain will prosper, and the actions they have displayed over this new Covid strain show that they don't think we are important to Europe, as the only thing they want from Britain is control of our waters and of our laws.