MPs have been informed that under a new plan, British citizens travelling to Europe may have to wait at border crossings for up to 14 hours.
If steps are not taken to avoid delays, the EU Entry-Exit System could cause significant disruptions to the Port of Dover and its environs when it starts, the European Scrutiny Committee of Parliament heard.
The cross-party group was informed by Ashford Borough Council that, should the initiative go ahead as scheduled in October, 14-hour lines would be a “reasonable worst-case” situation.
Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, Sir Bill Cash, said: “Queues of more than 14 hours, vehicles backed up along major roads, businesses starved of footfall: this evidence paints an alarming picture of the possible risks surrounding the Entry-Exit System’s implementation.
“Clearly, this policy could have a very serious impact, not only for tourists and travel operators but also for local businesses.
“I implore decision-makers on both sides of the Channel to take note of this evidence.
“The scheme is due to be implemented in October this year; the clock is ticking, and these issues must be urgently addressed.”
Under the much-delayed scheme, people from non-EU countries will be registered each time they cross a border in or out of the EU.
The Port of Dover and surrounding roads have seen multiple episodes of gridlocked traffic over the past few years, with post-Brexit checks adding to waiting times.