Traffic jams 'will stretch from Dover and Folkstone to London after Brexit', warns peer

Traffic jams ‘could stretch from Dover to London’ after Brexit (Getty Images)

Traffic jams caused by border disruption will stretch from Dover and Folkstone all the way to London after Brexit, a crossbench peer has warned.

Lord Bilimoria said that new border checks for non-EU trucks introduced after the UK leaves the European Union will take at least 20 minutes per vehicle, which could lead to ‘permanent gridlock’ at ports.

The disruption could lead to queues that stretch all the way to London, he wrote on politics.co.uk.

Philippe Mignonet, the deputy mayor of Calais, last week predicted that a new hard border would lead to ’15 mile queues’ at the French border.

But Lord Bilimoria cautioned that the traffic in the UK would be even worse.

‘The disruption at Dover and Folkstone could lead to queues twice that length, or all the way to London,’ he said.

Trucks wait in a car park at Dover port (Getty Images)

Last month the chairman of Maritime UK said that Dover will see permanent 20-mile traffic jams if Theresa May fails to agree to the EU’s Brexit transition period.

David Dingle predicted that drivers could be stuck on roads for up to two days if an agreement isn’t reached.

He said: ‘Our message is: please, government, can you do this as quickly as possible because if there is no transition period the industry as a whole will be in trouble and the whole logistics chain will be in major trouble.’

As the countdown to Brexit nears the one-year mark, the Labour party has launched an attempt to rewrite legislation to prevent the UK leaving the European Union without a deal if Parliament rejects any agreement Theresa May strikes with Brussels.

The opposition hopes to build a coalition of peers and MPs to reject the “take it or leave it” approach on offer from ministers which would see a vote against the final agreement interpreted as a decision to back a “no deal” Brexit.

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Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer will say Labour’s approach will “bring back control” over Brexit to Parliament.

In a speech in Birmingham, Sir Keir will say: “If Parliament rejects the Prime Minister’s deal that cannot give licence to her – or the extreme Brexiteers in her party – to allow the UK to crash out without an agreement.

“That would be the worst of all possible worlds.”