The International Trade Committee has warned that the cross-border movement of goods is “entering uncharted waters” as the government prepares for two years of Article 50 negotiations.

Outlining future trade possibilities post-Brexit, the committee said the government must set out its vision for UK trade after Brexit as well as providing reassurances that contingency plans will be in place if the UK cannot reach a trade agreement with the EU.

Committee chair Angus MacNeil MP said: “We are entering uncharted waters. The trading relationship we have had with Europe for almost 50 years will be transformed.

“The government has to give us more information on what this means for UK trade and the economy. Key industries will want to know as soon as possible what the likely outcomes are and their consequences.”

The route preferred by the committee following its first report into post-Brexit trade was rejoining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) because of the close alignment between the UK economy and those of EFTA members, but this is not an option that has been proposed by the government.

A free-trade agreement with the EU could result in “costly and cumbersome rules at the EU border” while falling back to World Trade Organisation rules would result in steep tariffs and regulatory barriers for exporters.

Evidence was supplied to the committee be the FTA and SMMT among others.

Last month the Institute of Directors (IoD) said a customs frontier was inevitable once Britain leaves the EU.