Charlie Elphicke warned of a backlog in lorries because of extensive customs checks if the Prime Minister cannot secure a deal with the bloc’s leaders.
The Conservative Remain supporter, however, declared the European divorce an opportunity to bring vital investment to British ports, instead of the Government spending money in Calais.
Cabinet ministers have previously been given detailed warnings that the UK pulling out of the EU’s custom union could lead to a dramatic fall in GDP and risk the clogging up of trade through Britain’s ports.
Responding to Mr Elphicke, during Prime Minister’s Questios, Theresa May insisted the Government will continue to invest in Dover to ensure it is ready for Brexit.
Charlie Elphicke expressed concern for British ports post-Brexit
It is clear we all hope for a deal, but we have to be prepared for every eventuality
“The Home Office will be looking very closely at what measures need to be in place for Brexit for those coming across the border into Dover,” she said.
Discussing the issue before Mr May is set to trigger Article 50 on Wednesday, the Dover MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme British ports had to be “prepared” for the eventuality the Prime Minister cannot strike a customs deal with Brussels.
“It is clear we all hope for a deal, but we have to be prepared for every eventuality – including customs and tariffs,” he said.
“We have to be ready on day one, whatever happens, at the Dover frontline.”
Mr Elphicke added: “The first thing you have to do is make sure you have got sufficient investment in infrastructure and we’re prepared with resilience in the road… We’ve invested tens of millions in Calais, we need to invest in Dover as well.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
“Secondly, we need to make sure we are ready for customs on day one, ready to process these things and we have electronic bills of lading – and then, in two years time, we can process efficiently and seamlessly.”
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, claimed the European Union and Britain will face “severe consequences” if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal.
Writing in the Financial Times, he said he would like to see an “orderly withdrawal” and hopes for an “ambitious trade agreement” to be struck after Mrs May triggers Article 50.
Previously, the Prime Minister has said “no deal” is better than a “bad deal”, signalling her intention to walk away from the negotiating table if a sufficient deal is not concluded.
Traffic chaos in Dover Sun, July 24, 2016
Holiday makers face horrendous 20 hour queues at the port of Dover in Kent as France steps up its security checks following the Nice terror attack.
LNP 1 of 9
The heatwave continues but queues of upto eight hours at Dover hit the summer holiday getaway
Mr Barnier said: “It goes without saying that a no-deal scenario, while a distinct possibility, would have severe consequences for our people and our economies. It would undoubtedly leave the UK worse off.
“Severe disruption to air transport and long queues at the Channel Port of Dover are just some of the many examples of the negative consequences of failing to reach a deal.
“Others include the disruption of supply chains, including the suspension of delivery of nuclear material to the UK.
“While the 27 member states will find it easier to adjust – as they will benefit from the single market, customs union and more than 60 trade deals with their international partners – we believe it is in the best interests of both sides to reach a deal on the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU.”