Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Therese Raphael

Christmas Is Canceled for Britain and Boris Johnson

Once again, the prime minister has found himself behind the curve in tackling the pandemic. It’s all so unnecessary. 

Not this year.

Not this year.

Photographer: Toby Melville/AFP

Things couldn’t feel less festive in Britain right now. There’s a new — apparently homegrown — virus mutation, rising Covid case numbers, the cancellation of Christmas gatherings, and stalled Brexit talks. Now Europe has put the U.K. into isolation, closing borders because of worries about the new Covid strain.

It isn’t just Christmas travelers who face disruption. Some 10,000 large trucks a day make the trip between France’s Calais and Dover, the U.K.’s biggest port for roll-on, roll-off ferries. The latter accounts for 17% of the British goods trade; 119 billion pounds ($158 billion) of goods passed through the port in 2015. There’s a risk of highways to Dover becoming car parks if the border remains shut.