A leaked government dossier that predicts months of delays at ports and shortages of some foods and medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit is not "scaremongering" and supports the RHA's long-held concerns, chief executive Richard Burnett said this week.

The secret document, dubbed Operation Yellowhammer, reveals that up to 85% of lorries travelling across the Channel may not be ready for French customs in the event of a no-deal brexit.

It also reveals that in a "reasonable worst-case scenario" HGVs could face a maximum delay of up to two and a half days before being able to cross the border, with the worst disruption at the channel ports lasting three months or more.

The dossier was compiled from research carried out in the past month.

Burnett told Sky News: "This just confirms what RHA has been saying for the past two and a half years."

Referring to government claims that the leak was driven by "scaremongers", Burnett added: "It is not scaremongering. It is the reality of the situation in the event of a no-deal."

Warning that there are only 53 working days left to the 31 October Brexit deadline, Burnett warned: "That is a very short period to get ready for a no-deal Brexit, if that no-deal is going to happen - the reality is starting to bite.

"People need to understand what the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit is."

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The dossier's leak comes days after Burnett's first meeting with the new transport secretary Grant Schapps, who replaced Chris Grayling last month.

Burnett welcomed the "totally different, proactive" approach from the new transport secretary adding: "This has a totally different feel in terms of the government listening to the haulage and logistics sector and I’m really looking forward to working with the new secretary of state.”

He continued: “It’s good to see he understands the challenges we are facing over Brexit and it’s encouraging that he promised greater clarity on the processes traders will have to go through in the event of a no-deal at the end of October.

"The RHA has been critical about the lack of clarity over new customs processes and the complexity of the tasks involved in customs form filling.

“He sees the challenges ahead both in terms of the movement of goods on the island of Ireland and also at the ports, including the Dover Straight, and has promised much more information. He told us he would be as helpful as he possibly can be to the sector. We look forward to seeing that in the coming days and weeks but his energy and understanding on the issue is very welcome."