It was wrong to state there would be no delays at Dover caused by Brexit, Jacob Rees-Mogg said this morning.
The Brexit opportunities minister was adamant in the past that any backups when crossing the Channel would be witnessed in Calais
But after holidaymakers faced chaos on gridlocked roads on the British side of the border Mr Rees-Mogg conceded he was wrong but “for the right reason”.
Rees-Mogg blamed Paris for the “French-created delays” as he was played a clip from 2018 where he was clear that “the delays will not be at Dover they will be at Calais”.
Asked if he would apologise during the appearance on LBC radio, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Yes, of course, I got it wrong but I got it wrong for the right reason, if I may put it that way.
“The point I was making was that the only delays would be caused by the French if they decided not to allow British people to pass through freely, they have decided to do that.”
He blamed “juxtaposed border controls” for the delays, meaning the French check travellers in Dover, while the British do the same in Calais.
“That means if the French don’t operate their system properly, we get the delays,” he said. Rees-Mogg suggested Britons might believe “going to Portugal is more fun because the Portuguese want us to go and the French are being difficult”.
“Why should we go and spend our hard-earned money in France if the French don’t want us?” he asked before insisting he was not calling for a boycott.
Extra post-Brexit border checks have been blamed for the recent hold ups, as have the understaffing of checkpoints in Dover by the French authorities.