THE UK Government has been accused of “shirking responsibility” by trying to blame the French and not Brexit over the chaos at Dover.

Long queues of vehicles built up at the port for a second day, with officials in Kent declaring a major incident due to the traffic.

Around 10,000 cars were expected to pass through, with traffic surging at the start of the English and Welsh school holidays, while around 3000 lorries were also waiting to cross.

Tory politicians have claimed France is responsible for the disruption, accusing it of failing to have enough border officers in place.

Foreign Secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss blamed France for the “entirely avoidable” delays, calling on officials there 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”.

The National: Natalie Elphicke

Tory MP Natalie Elphicke (above), who represents Dover, also insisted French authorities “should apologise to Dover residents and holidaymakers for the unnecessary holiday chaos at the start of the summer getaway”.

However, Republican MP for Calais Pierre-Henri Dumont told BBC News it was “an aftermath of Brexit”, with more checks needed.

Passengers embarking on cross-Channel sailings from Dover must pass through French border checks before they can board a ferry.

Dumont said these problems at the port will reoccur “because of Brexit”.

“This is an aftermath of Brexit. We have to run more checks than before,” he added.

Dumont also said the Port of Dover is “too small” and there are too few kiosks due to lack of space.

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SNP MP Philippa Whitford said: “The chaos at Dover at the start of the holiday season is undoubtedly due to Brexit as, with visa free travel limited to 90 days, more detailed passport checks are required which results in longer waits.

“The UK Government are trying to shirk responsibility by blaming the French – but it was the Brexiteers who demanded to ‘take back control’ of their borders?

“This chaos will also affect Scottish businesses who rely on the Channel crossing every day to get their world-leading fresh produce, such as seafood, to Europe and onto market shelves the next day.

“These delays will cause more damage to businesses who have been struggling since Brexit due to higher costs, extra bureaucracy, workforce shortages and export delays.”

Port of Dover CEO Doug Bannister has also stated that there will be “increased transaction times” at the border due to extra checks needed.

He told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “We are operating in a post-Brexit environment which does mean that passports need to be checked, they need to be stamped and indeed the capable people that do man the booths, police aux frontieres [French border police], they’re doing their job that they need to do now.”

Travel expert Simon Calder also said the delays were due to Brexit, with this weekend the first test of the “new reality at scale”.

Writing in the Independent, he said “cursory checks” had been replaced with stamping every single passport, adding: “The time taken for each car has increased from a few seconds to a couple of minutes – leading to queues growing with alarming speed.”