Dunkirk spirit is sunk by French as British civilian rescue is thwarted by border police

Arthur Martin writes in The Daily Mail about television historian Dan Snow’s attempt to evacuate Britons stuck on the Continent:

It had started in high hopes as the 31-year-old set sail from Dover early on Sunday at the head of a squadron of five speedboats.

Moved by the plight of his friend Sam Peters’ wife Debs, who was stuck in France, he had rounded up friends from the boating world with a plan to make at least three crossings.

In total up to 500 people might have been able to cross the channel on the open boats.

A website had been set up to register people’s details in advance to meet the requirements of border controls on each side of the channel.

Despite these precautions, the Home Office’s eBorders scheme contributed to the difficulties and lengthy delays Mr Snow encountered:

It seemed the flotilla might set sail way at last. But then they were ordered to stay in France until the British Home Office had approved their passengers.

Finally, just before 2 pm, the flotilla left France, landing in Dover 40 minutes later.