Fake News: Channel Tunnel NOT To Close Permanently On 30th April In Brexit Dispute 

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Channel Tunnel NOT To Close Permanently On 30th April In Brexit Dispute 

Is the tunnel under the English Channel through which the Eurostar trains pass about to close permanently on April 30, 2018? No, that's not true. An article reporting this was the case originated from a satire website, it is not real.

It originated from an article published on April 25, 2018 on the Southend News Network under the headline "Channel Tunnel to CLOSE PERMANENTLY on 30th April in BREXIT dispute" (archived here) which opened:

In a move that is likely to cause disruption for thousands of people, it has been revealed that the Channel Tunnel will sensationally close permanently at midnight on 30th April 2018.

According to a statement released a few minutes ago, a dispute between the British government, the French government and the European Union is to blame.

A source said: 'Shortly after the referendum result was announced, secret discussions began in Brussels to determine whether or not the land under the sea between Britain and France would be considered inside or outside of the EU.'

'As it stands right now, half of the tunnel is French, and half is British - this has created a very difficult situation as technically a border control point would need to be built underground, halfway between the coasts of Britain and France.'

The story might have looked real to people who only saw the summary on social media:

Channel Tunnel to CLOSE PERMANENTLY on 30th April in BREXIT dispute

In a move that is likely to cause disruption for thousands of people, it has been revealed that the Channel Tunnel will sensationally close permanently at midnight on 30th April 2018. According to a statement released a few minutes ago, a dispute between the British government, the French government and the European Union is to...

But The Southend News Network is a satirical site pretending to be a news organisation by the English coast in Southend. They have a disclaimer on their about page that reads (in part):

Southend News Network was originally started in October 2015 with no real aims or objectives in mind other than to add a satirical/spoof-like touch to issues that people are passionate about in Southend On Sea. Above all else, SNN is all about having the occasional 'dig' at the powers that be, as well a slightly bigger and more frequent 'dig' at certain elements of local media!

Several of their stories have been mistaken for real news in the past and the site was recognized by the local authorities as an "official news outlet".

Their stories frequently contain French puns, for example the town "Mouillé" which the French supposedly had prepared at sea level to run the new border crossing is simply the French word for "wet".

We wrote about southendnewsnetwork.net before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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