Truss to confront France on Dover chaos as furious Britons left queuing for HOURS

Britons have been left queuing for hours after a “critical incident” was declared at the Port of Dover.

The port’s chief executive Doug Bannister blamed “woefully inadequate” staffing at French border control for the long queues.

He added that the port had been “badly let down” by France.

French authorities said an “unforeseeable technical incident” in the Channel Tunnel meant French border police were delayed into Dover.

In a statement after speaking with the French foreign minister, Ms Truss said: “This awful situation should have been entirely avoidable and is unacceptable.

“We need action from France to build up capacity at the border to limit any further disruption for British tourists and to ensure this appalling situation is avoided in future.

“We will be working with the French authorities to find a solution.”

Meanwhile Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he is “working closely” with the French transport minister to minimise further disruption.

Thankfully for British tourists, the port has announced that “traffic is slowly beginning to move”, as the French border control ramp up their resources. 

It has warned however that it would “take some time to clear the backlog”.

But in a statement this afternoon prefect for the Haut-de-France region Georges-Francois Leclerc said the claims that French border control had failed to mobilise sufficient staff for the holiday rush are inaccurate.

The statement said: “The increase in traffic for this weekend was fully anticipated and a suitable deployment was prepared.

“The plan was to have all the police booths manned at Dover by 08:30 BST.

“An unforeseeable technical incident in the tunnel meant that police had to push back their full deployment by an hour.”

A UK Government spokesperson said they were “working closely with French authorities, the Port of Dover, Kent Resilience Forum and police to ease disruption and provide on the ground support”.

The leader of Dover District Council, Trevor Bartlett, said: “Alongside the delays for tens of thousands of tourists, the local community is the biggest loser.”

He added: “Serious questions need to be asked about how the emergency services would be able to respond to a major incident in Dover when it is completely gridlocked, and how this situation has been allowed to develop yet again?”

With most schools in England and Wales breaking up for summer this week, motoring organisation the RAC said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips were planned in the UK between Friday and Monday.

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