GRIDLOCKED roads, food shortages and a lack of medicines are all potential risks a no-deal Brexit could have on the Braintree district, according to a secret report.

Documents compiled by Braintree Council highlight some of the likely issues caused by the UK leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement in place and suggests they would take effect in a matter of weeks if this were the case.

Among the threats identified are severe congestion on both the A12 and A120 due to potential delays at both Stansted Airport and Harwich International Port.

The report, which was made public following a freedom of information request submitted by the People’s Vote campaign, suggests these delays will in turn affect freight deliveries which help bring food and medicines into the district.

Further concerns are raised about the harm to the economy and job growth due to the lack of funding once provided by the EU, with figures showing £800,000 was secured from Brussels in the last financial year.

All councils across England have produced a risk register report to establish the impact a no-deal Brexit could have at local government level.

Braintree Council’s report also raises concerns about new housing developments in the district being affected, regardless of whether a deal is struck with the EU.

It suggests developers may delay the construction of homes or selling land for new homes due to uncertainty in the economy.

Of all the areas looked at by the council, economic development, operations and communications are considered most at risk, with the report suggesting the authority is “unprepared” for the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on those sectors.

A council spokesman said: “Like every council, Braintree Council has a legal duty under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to provide and maintain robust and resilient contingency plans. This internal working document is a draft and officers have looked at a number of scenarios to make sure we are prepared for a range of possibilities. We will continue to review this in line with any further work undertaken or information known.”