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Brexit campaigners want Le Pen barred from UK

Campaigners supporting Brexit have asked the British home secretary to ban Marine Le Pen from coming to the UK to join the campaign, fearing her "divisive and inflammatory comments".

Brexit campaigners want Le Pen barred from UK
Marine Le Pen. Photo: AFP
France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who famously said she wanted to “explode the EU”, is set to head to Britain in the run-up to the referendum to give her backing to the Brexit campaign.
 
However, those in the UK who are campaigning for the same thing don't actually want her to come. 
 
Vote Leave co-chairman Gisela Stuart penned an open letter to Home Secretary Theresa May on Friday, asking for Le Pen to be barred from crossing the channel.
 
She wrote that Le Pen “has previously made many divisive and inflammatory comments, including comparing Muslims praying in the street to the Nazi occupation of France”.
 
“Accordingly, I urge you to exercise your powers under immigration legislation to refuse her admission into the country if and when she attempts to visit the UK.”
 
May has banned over 200 people from British shores since 2010. These included 84 hate preachers, 61 who posed a threat to national security, and 72 who were considered to be “not conducive to the public good”.
 
She told British media, however, that she does not comment on individual cases.
 
'No one seemed to be offended by Obama'
 
On Monday Le Pen hit back saying no one seemed to be upset by Barack Obama's recent trip to the UK to try to influence the Brexit debate.

“I’m surprised she [Gisela Stuart] didn’t say anything about Barack Obama coming to the UK to interfere in British affairs. I am not going to interfere.

“Barack Obama came to threaten Britain and no one seemed to be shocked at all.

If I go it would be to talk about the need for the people to decide for themselves rather than the European Union.

“I advocate that every nation in the European Union has the possibility to have a referendum and to say what they think of the European Union.”

Le Pen is France’s most powerful Eurosceptic and is backing Brexit in the hope that it could trigger a similar referendum in France, and then her dream a “Frexit”.
 
Her party spokesperson said she is planning to cross the channel in the next few weeks, leaving plenty of time before the June 23rd referendum.
 
The leader of the anti-EU National Front party, who is also an MEP, famously said in the run-up to the last European elections that her desire was to “explode the EU”.
 
“How to improve the European Union? By making it collapse…. I expect one thing only from the European system and that's for it to explode,” she said.
 
Although her trip to Britain to back Brexit might not be welcomed too kindly by the likes of fellow anti-EU politicians like Ukip’s Nigel Farage, who has repeatedly tried to distance himself and his party from the French party he labels as anti-Semitic.
 
It is not quite sure what Le Pen will do on the campaign trail in Britain, given her lack of English, but no doubt it will draw plenty of attention.
 
A poll released last week revealed that Le Pen’s compatriots may be changing their views towards a Brexit as the crunch referendum approaches.
 
While some 52 percent can see it happening, more interestingly six out of ten actually want Britain to remain in the EU.
 
That’s in stark contrast to previous polls that suggested a majority of French people – even more than the percentage of Brits – were in favour of the UK leaving the EU.
 
 
 
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TRAVEL NEWS

Amber alert: Travellers to France warned of another busy weekend at UK ports

A week after chaotic scenes and 6-hour queues at the port of Dover, the British motoring organisation the AA has issued an amber traffic warning, and says it expects cross-Channel ports to be very busy once again this weekend as holidaymakers head to France.

Amber alert: Travellers to France warned of another busy weekend at UK ports

The AA issued the amber warning on Thursday for the whole of the UK, the first time that it has issued this type of warning in advance.

Roads across the UK are predicted to be extremely busy due to a combination of holiday getaways, several large sporting events and a rail strike – but the organisation said that it expected traffic to once again be very heavy around the port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel terminal at Folkestone.

Last weekend there was gridlock in southern England and passengers heading to France enduring waits of more than six hours at Dover, and four hours at Folkestone.

The AA said that while it doesn’t expect quite this level of chaos to be repeated, congestion was still expected around Dover and Folkestone.

On Thursday ferry operator DFDS was advising passengers to allow two hours to get through check-in and border controls, while at Folkestone, the Channel Tunnel operators only said there was a “slightly longer than usual” wait for border controls.

In both cases, passengers who miss their booked train or ferry while in the queue will be accommodated on the next available crossing with no extra charge.

Last weekend was the big holiday ‘getaway’ weekend as schools broke up, and a technical fault meant that some of the French border control team were an hour late to work, adding to the chaos. 

But the underlying problems remain – including extra checks needed in the aftermath of Brexit, limited space for French passport control officers at Dover and long lorry queues on the motorway heading to Folkestone.

OPINION UK-France travel crisis will only be solved when the British get real about Brexit

The port of Dover expects 140,000 passengers, 45,000 cars and 18,000 freight vehicles between Thursday and Sunday, and queues were already starting to build on Thursday morning.

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