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Farmers cause disruption at Dover in protest over cheap imports

 (PA)
(PA)

Dozens of tractors have clogged roads around a major UK port in a protest against cheap imports which farmers claim will drive them out of business.

The vehicles were part of a “go-slow” demonstration by farmers gathered in small groups around the port of Dover on Friday evening.

It comes after similar demonstrations in France which saw French farmers move tractors to block routes in Paris, urging the government to do more to protect the country’s agricultural sector from foreign competition, rising costs and low pay.

A tractor with a trailer had “no more cheap imports” spray painted on the side of it, as others could be seen blocking roads towards Folkstone, Kent.

One farmer claimed it was time to “take a stance” and claimed the UK government was undercutting British produce with cheap foreign imports of food.

One tractor with a trailer had “no more cheap imports” spray painted on the side of it (PA)
One tractor with a trailer had “no more cheap imports” spray painted on the side of it (PA)

Farmer Jeffrey Gibson, from Wingham, Kent, said: “Time has come enough is enough why are we as British farmers producing food to the highest standards in the world, only for the government to do trade deals with countries producing far cheaper food with little or no standards.

“As for the supermarkets selling British produce cheaper than the cost of production shame on you.

“The time has come to take a stance, if farming continues in this country as it is with the new SFI scheme actively encouraging us not to grow food and rely more on cheap imports none of us will exist once the government changes tack leaving us unequipped to grow anything.”

He added that protesters would stay out on Friday night for as long as possible to raise awareness of their cause.

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called just after 5pm on Friday February 9 to a report of slow-moving vehicles in Jubilee Way, Dover.

“Officers are in attendance and working with the Port of Dover police on this matter.”