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Toyota closes factories amid border chaos

Toyota has said that it will be stopping production at its British and French plants earlier than expected due to the Covid-19 border disruption.

As France banned all freight or cargo from Britain for 48 hours, the group faced shortages of parts. As a result, the engine plant in Deeside in north Wales, the factory in Burnaston in Derbyshire, and the French site will all close earlier than expected before Christmas.

Toyota said that the closures would “help ensure the safety and security of our employees and all our stakeholders, particularly our logistics partners and in consideration of society’s wider needs”.

Adding that the decision had been made “in light of the traffic bans that a growing number of countries have issued for travel from the UK and due to the uncertain nature of how long the borders will be closed for logistics activities”.

Boris Johnson spoke with French President  Emmanuel Macron on Monday evening to see if the travel ban could be lifted.

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Johnson said at a Downing Street press conference: “I have just spoken to President Macron – we had a very good call – we both understand each other’s positions and want to resolve these problems as fast as possible.”

“I want to stress that we in the UK fully understand the anxieties of our friends about Covid, their anxieties about the new variant, but it is also true that we believe the risks of transmission by a solitary driver sitting alone in the cab are really very low.

“And so we hope to make progress as fast as we possibly can. I want to repeat that these delays only apply to a very small percentage of food entering the UK, and, as British supermarkets have said, their supply chains are strong and robust, so everyone can continue to shop normally.”

France is just one of over 40 countries that has suspended flights and trains from the UK.

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