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Brexit: Tory MP clashes with Chris Grayling over plan to turn motorway into ‘parking lot’ in no-deal scenario

A Tory MP has clashed with Chris Grayling after it emerged the federal government is planning to make use of a part of the M26 motorway as a “parking zone” within the occasion of a no-deal Brexit.

Tom Tugendhat, the MP for Tonbridge and Mailing, claimed work had begun on the motorway within the south-east on Wednesday night and mentioned the group had been saved at midnight over the plans devised by the Division for Transport (DfT). 

It comes as amid mounting concern over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and escalating strain on Theresa Could from each the Democratic Unionist Occasion (DUP) and hardline Brexiteers, who’re threatening to derail the prime minister’s plans.

If the negotiations finish with out a deal, the plans imply a part of the M26 in Kent could possibly be used a holding areas for lorries as a way to ease potential gridlock, amid considerations no-deal Brexit might lead to delays on the close by port of Dover.

Showing visibly pissed off within the Commons, Mr Tugendhat mentioned: “It is come to a reasonably cross when a member finds out that works have begun on a motorway to show that motorway right into a parking zone with out session both with the area people or with surrounding members.” 

He continued: “The M26 works began final evening. I wrote to [Mr Grayling] in April asking whether or not or not this might occur.

“I used to be assured the works weren’t deliberate and solely yesterday was it confirmed to me that Highways England has mentioned that’s precisely what was deliberate, regardless of having informed me the reverse solely every week earlier.”

Mr Tugendhat then urged the transport secretary to elucidate how the planning permission was granted, with “no session”.

Responding, Mr Grayling provided to fulfill the MP and mentioned he didn’t anticipate any of the contingencies in place for a no-deal state of affairs to be wanted as he was “assured” and Brexit settlement can be reached with Brussels.

There shall be in a single day closures on the motorway till Monday and within the run as much as Christmas between November 19 and December 21 whereas the work is carried out. Diversions shall be in place by way of the M25 and M20.

A spokesman for Highways England added: “As a part of wider resilience planning, Highways England has been requested by the Division for Transport to develop plans to utilise the M26 to carry heavy items automobiles, ought to additional capability be required sooner or later.

“We shall be enterprise website surveys on the M26 throughout October resulting in the set up of two gates within the central reservation to assist the secure administration of freight sooner or later, if wanted.”

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