Queues at Dover over the first weekend of the Easter holidays have reignited the debate over whether we should blame Brexit for the chaos.
It echoes claims that parts of Kent have been "absolutely walloped" by our departure from the European Union and "the tourists have stopped coming". Last August, KentOnline reporter Chris Britcher took an in-depth look at whether the local economy really has been "wrecked "...
From a dip in tourism figures, to chaos at our ports and a major drain on the jobs market, our decision to leave the European Union has certainly played a part in many of the challenges we now face.
But trying to discuss - and for that matter isolate - the impact of Brexit on the county, in a balanced way, is one which still eludes the majority.
Our views are so entrenched, the Leave versus Remain battle lines still so clearly marked, that debate almost immediately descends into mud-slinging.
Not to mention, of course, the waters are so muddied by a myriad of other factors which have turned the world we once knew on its head over the last few years.
Trying to unweave the Brexit thread in the tapestry of our biggest challenges is, therefore, tricky. But, be in little doubt, it is there.
The political author and journalist Andrew Scott - who writes under the pen name of Otto English - has tweeted about how the county was being "walloped" by our decision to turn our back on the EU.
He cited a recent visit to Canterbury - where he had attended university in his youth - and the decline in visitor numbers.
He tweeted: "Canterbury used to buzz to the throng of European citizens and teenagers coming over on short visits and day trips - there was even a dedicated coach park. Big spenders in shops, cafés and pubs
"But the coach park is now empty and the tourists have stopped coming."
Adding: "It takes years to build up a thriving tourism sector, a buoyant local economy and excellent bilateral relations with your neighbours but you can wreck it all - perhaps forever - in just five years."
Needless to say it sparked debate, with it being shared more than 1,000 times and 'liked' many thousands more.
"I go to Canterbury quite a lot," he explained to KentOnline, "and have lots of friends there - and it was one of them who had mentioned the changes.
"Once she switched my mind onto it, it became incredibly noticeable.
"But I do accept the pandemic has probably wreaked havoc on it too."
To give him his dues, Andrew Scott/Otto English is a rather moderate Remainer. He appreciates there is no way back "for at least a decade, if ever" into the EU and, more to the point, thinks it would be wrong to put the country through "another six years of turmoil" in pursuit of it.
So is that actually the case? Are young foreigner visitor numbers down? And, more to the point, is Brexit to blame?
The answer - according to the county's chief of inward tourism - is yes.
"For some of our big attractions like Canterbury Cathedral and Leeds Castle, they've seen a significant drop," says Deirdre Wells, chief executive of Visit Kent.
"It could be as much as 90% in the number of educational visits from abroad. It's huge."
And the cause of that decline is due to something which may have passed many by.
In October 2021, new legislation - as a direct result of Brexit - was introduced which stopped school children (or anyone for that matter) from EU nations being able to enter the UK by using their national identity cards. Instead, access was only permitted to those with a passport.
Just like in the UK, a passport doesn't come cheap - in France they cost €86 (£74). It's a significant stumbling block for many families.
The impact is significant and should not be underestimated on the county.
"For Kent, educational visits are important so we are lobbying the Home Office hard on trying to get something resolved," Ms Wells adds.
And by 'resolved' they mean the reintroduction of ID card-permitted travel.
For Canterbury - home to Kent's traditional biggest single tourist attraction, Canterbury Cathedral, the impact can be significant. With every coach-load of schoolchildren comes money spent in the local economy. Not to mention an affinity with the city which can so often lead to repeat visits in later life.
The impact has been particularly hard felt by those from Germany - who would also then stay locally - where classes will tend not to go on a trip if just one student cannot travel.
The Visit Kent boss admits educational travel from the nation has almost "completely dried up".
But not all agree Brexit is fully to blame for the lack of footfall in the cathedral city.
"Canterbury doesn't look like what it was pre-pandemic," says Jo James, chief executive of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, which represents firms across much of the county.
"Certain parts of it, like towns up and down the country, have been hit with closed shops.
"I was in the city recently and, while the numbers appeared to be down, there were still enough to give it a good buzz. But do I think that's down to Brexit? No, personally I don't.
"Brexit would have something to do with the impact of not having quite as many foreign students.
"But on tourism? How can it be blamed when we've just gone through a pandemic and we're now going through some of the toughest financial times and highest rates of inflation that we've ever had?
"This is not just a UK problem. What we are going through as individuals here, they're going through in Germany, France and worldwide. We're all faced with the same problems.
"Utility costs and the knock-on effects, the lack of workers. I think that has more to do with it at the moment.
"We've had the pandemic and that put the brakes on everything. We're just starting to recover and the money in our pocket has got to last, and there's a lot less of it to go round.
"To be quite frank, that's going to have an impact for at least the next year or 18 months if not longer.
"We can't put it all on the doorstep of Brexit."
Pro-Brexit former county and Canterbury city councillor, David Hirst, shares the view it is a contributing factor. He explained: "The only Brexit matter that you can really isolate in Kent is on is the number of tourists coming into the county.
"But then there are so many reasons for that.
"The economic situation in France, Germany and other countries is getting pretty dire - much more than in the UK, so there's less disposable income.
"It's easy to think Brexit has something to do with everything. But it has been a joyous effect really because none of the predictions made prior to Brexit have come to pass. And when I say none, I mean none.
"The economy is far stronger than Europe, our inflation is less severe, our interest rates are less than most of Europe."
Certainly the issues we saw at Easter can't all be laid at Brexit's feet. That was an issue compounded by P&O Ferries sacking 800 staff and the resulting suspension of its services over the key holiday period.
But as the school holidays started in July, so our roads snarled up again due to new customs checks for entering and exiting the EU.
While the finger of blame from this side of the Channel was immediately pointed at French border officials, there can be no getting away from the fact the additional checks due to Brexit played a significant role.
When having to considerably increase the amount of time to process peak traffic levels (passports now have to be checked and stamped by French officials), delays, compared to what we were once used to, were inevitable.
The situation is unlikely to be much better next year either. In November new biometric checks are being introduced.
In a nutshell, if you're planning to head to France you'll need your fingerprints scanned and photographs taken all while in the presence of a border official. And this all taking place on the UK side.
"It will slow things down further," warns Ms Wells. She's lobbying hard for improved technology to prevent the delays - and negative perception of entering and leaving the UK it presents to a wider audience - to ease the current issues.
"What we want to see is the gateway to the UK, which we're privileged to host, being as state-of-the-art as possible.
"We'll certainly be making that case to the new PM and secretary of state when they're in post."
Ms James adds: "We have been the gateway in and out of Europe which is great for us when things work well, but actually the slightest little hiccup and Kent is at a standstill.
"It's so easy to say that's due to Brexit or the pandemic, but it is actually quite difficult to say what's what."
And that's a recurring theme.
Another issue Kent has been grappling with is the loss of workers - many of which we were reliant upon and who hailed from Europe.
Dr Catherine Robinson, an economist at the University of Kent, explains: "We have been hit by Brexit - so an awful lot of labour that was here has retreated back to Europe as they find the UK a less friendly place. Also, with Covid, I think people don't want to travel too far away from their country of origin for work. So there's been a retrenchment along national lines.
"The other part is, following on from the pandemic, there was this big wave of furlough which really supported industries to carry on despite the basic shutdown of the economy.
"That caused uncertainty in the labour market, so people held on to their jobs but of course there was a need to cut costs within businesses as the furlough scheme became less and less generous and then stopped. Then they had to lay people off as they were uncertain about how things were going to pick up in the future.
"So there was a disconnect between labour and businesses which meant many weren't ready - particularly in travel, hospitality and tourism - when things fully reopened and demand ramped up."
For the tourism industry in the county the situation has created "a challenge" according to the Visit Kent boss.
Explains Ms Wells: "We were an industry dominated by European - particularly Eastern European - workers. That has dropped quite dramatically."
Brexit's influence on that can be seen too in the supply chain crisis earlier this year, in which a shortage of lorry drivers left many supermarket shelves empty. Yet that was also exacerbated by the pandemic closing HGV test centres for the best part of a year - thus denying the industry an influx of fresh blood.
Farmers have also struggled to get in crops - with even plans to pull in Ukraine workers under seasonal worker permits derailed by the Russian invasion of their homeland. That prompted many to pull in workers from further afield.
The struggles they face - and employers in general - continues.
For business, Brexit was hailed as an opportunity to reach new markets and reap riches outside the confines of our ties to EU laws and regulations.
And it is one Brexit supporters say is often being exploited - but not reported on.
Explains former Tory, Ukip and Brexit Party Canterbury councillor David Hirst: "We have 70-odd new trade agreements, exports everywhere are right up at the moment. We're exporting more to nearly every country in the world than we've ever done before. This is giving us full employment. And that's a really big thing. If everyone's earning and able to pay their bills, that is wonderful.
"Spain has something like 45% unemployment among young people. The advantages of Brexit have been absolutely huge."
Not that every business in Kent appears to be benefitting.
Chamber boss Jo James says: "What's the impact of Brexit? To me it's been on small Kent exporters - a number who did export to the EU no longer doing so due to changes in rules and the paperwork.
"Again, the pandemic has had a role in this. But due to the additional administration and costs involved [due to Brexit] a lot have backed away.
"It's very difficult to separate what is causing the problems. We are faced with so many challenges at the moment.
"I don't think we've had the right environment since the transition period ended to actually benefit from the opportunities that could have arisen from Brexit.
"We've had two years of the pandemic and now we've got the cost-of-living crisis and staff shortages. So we haven't been in a position to realise the opportunities which Brexit could have brought for us.
"There are good opportunities with international trade - trading in new markets."
Brexit has, it is fair and reasonable to say, had an impact on Kent. Quite how significant remains open to interpretation.
Which begs the question: Can the simmering pot of the Brexit debate ever come off the boil in order for us to move forward as a united county?
"The trouble with it is that it all became so nasty and ideological," says Mr Scott. "It's like a civil war.
"That's the greatest crime in all of this, the county has been set against each other..."
"It's like we have two cults - Leave and Remain.
"It doesn't matter what the cult is - it could be people who believe aliens are coming - you can present all the evidence you like to them and they'll say it's something else.
"It's like your football team. Everyone's picked a side and nobody wants to accept a different view or swap sides.
"That's the greatest crime in all of this, the county has been set against each other. People - Leave or Remain - get so intensely angry if you defer from some form of mantra or point of view."
It's a call for peace echoed by Mr Hirst: "People need to come together and support the country because the country has a really bright future and I'm absolutely confident about that.
"I think discussion and debate is the way forward. We all need to be open to other people's opinions, come together and move on."