Natalie pictured with Transport Secretary, the Rt Hon Mark Harper MP, Doug Bannister (CEO at the Port of Dover) and Jason Holt (Chairman of the Port of Dover) in Parliament

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke has called for urgent investment to ensure the Port of Dover is ready for new EU border checks. The MP last week held a meeting between Port Chiefs and the Transport Secretary – as well as raising the issue with the Prime Minister in PMQs.

New EU border checks are due to come in this October. The checks – called the Entry / Exit Check system – or EES – will require biometric passport information to be provided at French border controls in Dover. Port chiefs are concerned to see the new EES system put in place in a way that will avoid delays. To do this, investment is needed in systems and holding facilities at the docks.

Natalie Elphicke recently met with Foreign Secretary David Cameron to discuss the issue – and last week met Transport Secretary Mark Harper with Port Chiefs to work through what needs to happen.

Natalie also raised the issue with the Prime Minister in PMQs – with the Prime Minister pledging

“Practical and constructive solutions that will ease the flow of traffic in the way that she describes and benefit her local community.”

Natalie said:

“The EU is changing its border check requirements this Autumn. It’s vital we are ready and that we keep Dover clear. That’s why I have been pressing Ministers to focus fully on the changes the EU is making.

“Traffic needs to pass through the port without delays. The Port of Dover team is working incredibly hard. With the necessary investment and once the EU fully set out their requirements, I’ve no doubt that the port will be intending to be as ready as it can be for these EU border changes.”

At PMQs last Wednesday Natalie Elphicke asked the Prime Minister:

“Later this year, a new digital EU border system will come in, yet key changes that are required and key details have still not been decided by the EU. Urgent decisions are needed on additional funding and preparation to keep Dover clear and traffic moving through Kent. Can my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister assure me that this issue is being taken seriously at the highest levels of Government, and that funding and support will be made available to keep Dover clear, support the residents of Dover and Deal—and Kent—and secure our vital cross-channel trade and tourism?

Prime Minister:

“My hon. Friend is right to raise this issue, and I assure her that it is being discussed at the highest levels of Government between UK Ministers and our EU and French counterparts to make sure that we have practical and constructive solutions that will ease the flow of traffic in the way that she describes and benefit her local community.”

By Ed

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