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14-hour queues at Port of Dover last summer ‘a tea party compared with what will happen if we are not ready for Brexit’

PUBLISHED: 13:24 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:24 09 March 2017

Port of Dover

Port of Dover

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Charlie Elphicke has called for more investment in infrastructure on Kent’s roads to ensure the county is prepared

The 14-hour queues suffered by holidaymakers in Dover last summer are “a tea party” compared to what will happen if Kent is not ready for Brexit, an MP has warned.

Charlie Elphicke is calling for more investment in infrastructure on the county’s roads if we are to avoid a repeat of the events of August 2016.

Drivers trying to cross the Channel into France were stuck in sweltering heat, as heightened security checks in light of recent terror attacks caused delays heading into Calais.

A lack of staffing on the part of the border authorities widely accepted as the main cause of the disruption.

At the time Mr Elphicke criticised the government for not being prepared, after the Port of Dover had warned of such a situation developing, and the constituency MP has again called for greater preparation ahead of Britain’s planned departure from the European Union in two years’ time.

“In my constituency of Dover last summer we had a taster of what will come if we are not ready,” Mr Elphicke told MPs.

“We saw queues of traffic all the way down the motorways, and some say that that was a tea party compared with what will happen if we are not ready.

“That is why I am making the case again today for more and faster investment in lorry parks off the M20, for widening and strengthening the M20, for dualling the A2 and for the lower Thames crossing.

“We need the infrastructure in the channel ports as well to make sure that we are ready on day one.

“I know that there are Labour members who look forward to that day, and who like to warn about it and, frankly, feast on it - I take a different view.

“We need to be ready and prepared so that the worst does not happen.

“That is why I call for investment to be brought forward, for the lower Thames crossing to be built quickly, and for us to get on with it.

“We should make an investment in the Port of Dover that is similar to, and greater than, that which we have most graciously made in Calais in recent years.

“It is time we put Britain, and Britain’s border, at the forefront of our policy.”

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