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Council challenges French strikes

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Kent County Council has launched a campaign to try to bring an end to repeated chaos caused to the local economy by French strikers.

Following the latest action over the Channel, the council is seeking legal opinion to establish whether France has contravened EU rules regarding the free movement of people and goods.

Kent CC is working with those affected, including the P&O Ferries, LD Lines and other local businesses, to claim compensation from the French Government for the millions of pounds that strike action is losing the Kent and UK economies.

Kent CC Leader Paul Carter said: “When you consider the misery caused to tens of thousands of Kent people affected by the strikes and the impact on their businesses and travel plans, it is time to say enough is enough and show that we cannot and will not put up with these situations any longer.”

He was launching the council's Enough is Enough campaign.

Mr Carter said the protests fuelled a damaging perception that Kent was frequently closed for business, resulting in the potential loss of millions of pounds in future inward investment.

One of the companies worst affected, P&O Ferries, said it welcomed this initiative as a means of putting political pressure on the UK and French governments to work together to prevent the recurring closure of the Calais border which the French government has an international obligation to maintain in accordance with EU law.

LD Lines, which operates from Dover, said “as the newest operator from Dover we are greatly concerned about how services are being affected.”

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