A BREXITEER Tory MP has sparked ridicule after she blamed chaos at the Dover port on “French border control problems”.

It comes after the Port of Dover declared a critical incident as coaches queued for up to seven hours. Cars are facing queues of one or two hours, according to firms operating from the port.

Travel correspondent Simon Calder told BBC Breakfast that the queues were seemingly explained by increased processing requirements since the UK left the EU.

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He further posted on Twitter: “Dover: sympathy for all the people stuck on coaches for hours.

“The UK asked for an European Union external frontier, similar to the hard borders the EU has with Russia and Turkey, to take effect in Kent, with every British passport inspected and stamped.”

But Natalie Eplhicke, the Tory MP for Dover since 2019, instead blamed the problems on French border staff.

“Incredibly disappointing to see French border control problems once again adding to traffic mayhem just as families are trying to getaway [sic] for the Easter holidays,” she wrote.

The Conservative’s comment has led to an inevitable backlash, with many sharing Calder’s comments in response. Others’ shared a Tory graphic proclaiming that they were “ending free movement”.

US comic Rob Delaney quipped in reply: “Can’t hear you over the roar of Freedom.”

While the SNP’s Peterhead branch wrote: “The cognitive dissonance required by Natalie to tweet this is staggering. But we too wish there was a solution... maybe if we were all part of... oh we dunno... some Union or other... that allowed free movement of people... and not just at Easter Time…”

P&O Ferries apologised for the wait times for coaches sailing from Dover, while DFDS said it is expecting a busy weekend and advised passengers to allow extra time to complete border and check-in controls.

A statement from the port said: “The Port of Dover is deeply frustrated by last night’s and this morning’s situation and particularly so on behalf of all the ferry operators’ coach passengers who have had to endure such a long wait at the port.

The National:

“Whilst freight and car traffic was processed steadily regardless of the additional challenging weather conditions and high seasonal volumes, coach traffic suffered significant delays due to lengthy French border processes and sheer volume.

“Despite considerable pre-planning with our ferry operators, border agency partners and the Kent Resilience Forum, and the success of similar plans for processing substantial numbers of coaches during the most recent half-term period, the additional coach bookings taken by ferry operators for Easter has impacted operations for the port.”

The port said food and drink has been provided to coach passengers in the queues, adding: “We offer our sincere apologies for the prolonged delays that people have endured and continue to work with all of our partners to get all passengers on their way as quickly as possible.”

The National: Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (Matt Keeble/PA)

Labour leader Keir Starmer (above) urged the Tory government to “get a grip” of the situation, but also did not mention Brexit in his statement.

“You can’t have every summer holiday, every Easter holiday, the same old problem. And so the Government needs to get a grip on this and actually help people out in who are just trying to get away for a few days holiday,” he said.

Elphicke succeeded her husband Charlie in the Dover seat after he had the Conservative whip withdrawn following charges of sexual assault against two women.

She had previously called for a firework display so big “that it can be seen from France” to mark the moment the UK left the EU.