Frenchman Jean-Marc Puissesseau has told Mr Grayling he is no longer welcome in Calais after he accused the Conservative Party MP of trying to bypass his agreement on a proposal to change the path of ships should Britain leave the EU without a deal. Mr Puissesseau also claimed to have told Mr Grayling in a meeting Calais would cope with post-Brexit customs checks at the French port before the divert was planned, the Daily Telegraph reports. Mr Puissesseau said: “Mr Grayling came to us in November and asked us if we would be ready. “We told him ‘yes’, though we did not know as much as we know today. He did not tell us that he wanted to reduce the activity. “It is not fair at all, it is completely disrespectful. I don’t want to see him again.”
Mr Grayling is planning to divert goods to the Belgian port of Ostend in a move that has outraged Calais.
Mr Puissesseau had insisted before hand that a “traffic light” system would work and keep traffic between Dover and Calais running smoothly.
The system consists of green for lorries with the right paperwork, orange for those who are not sure and red for those with no paperwork.
Mr Puissesseau said: “We didn’t ask for Brexit, but we have spent the money for traffic to flow regularly.”
He then said Mr Grayling was so hated in Calais he would have to be pushed through the traffic light system himself to be able to get into France.
Mr Puissesseau said: “I have heard he is ‘failing Grayling’…He will have to have a declaration if he comes to Calais. He will have to go through the orange lane.”
The Calais chairman attacked Mr Grayling weeks ago, calling him “disrespectful” on the BBC Today Show before reassuring listeners a no-deal Brexit would not cause any mayhem between the ports.
He said: “We have been preparing for no deal for one year in Calais and on March 29 we will be ready.”
Mr Grayling was heavily criticised for awarding a no-deal Brexit ferry contract worth an eye-watering £13.8million to Seaborne Freight, a firm that has no ships or trading history.