Dover MP Charlie Elphicke blasts government for not investing or planning for post-Brexit border disruption

Catherine Neilan
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Elphicke said the M20 proposal from DfT was "just cobbled together" (Source: Getty)

The pro-Brexit MP for Dover has blasted the government for failing to plan and invest in borders and ports sufficiently to avoid the chaotic outcomes of a hard Brexit as reported this weekend. 

Charlie Elphicke told City A.M. that while predictions of armageddon were simply "project fear mark two", government departments including the Treasury and Home Office had not put enough work into preparing for all scenarios. 

"We had an emphatic vote in Dover to leave. The job of government now is to deliver on the result," he said. 

"The day after the referendum orders should have gone out to make sure we were fully prepared, deal or no deal. But the necessary planning and investment has not been made."

Elphicke said it was "very disappointing" than none of the necessary work - including fast-tracking the existing programme to upgrade customs systems, or to invest in roads and additional state of the art customs controls - had been taken on board. 

"Deal or no deal, we need to be ready from March 2019, which means we have limited time left," he said. "The whole of government needs to focus... this isn't just a Thursday afternoon public sector reorganisation, this is a serious project and we need to be ready to deliver."   

He also slammed the Department for Transport's recent proposal to turn a 13-mile stretch of the M20 into a lorry park as something they had "just cobbled together.. on the cheap".  

"There is no sense of urgency - it’s time we had that," said Elphicke. 

This morning a Downing Street spokesman rubbished suggestions that the armageddon forecasts were "completely false".

He added: "A significant amount of work gone into these plans, especially ports, and we know that none of this would happen.

"We are equally clear that we are working towards a deal because it's in the interests of both sides."

Asked if he could give a cast iron guarantee, the spokesman nodded.

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