A LEADING politician has branded the run-up to Brexit as “the most dangerous time for the country since the Second World War”.

Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said Britain’s exiting of the European Union is an “unholy mess” and he is concerned about the impact of a no-deal on Harwich.

Mr McDonald visited Harwich to ask port workers and business how they are preparing for Brexit – which is set for March 29.

During his visit he said he was concerned about the possible delays with short sea services in and out of Harwich in a post-Brexit world, as well as the town not having enough border officers.

Mr McDonald said: “I spoke with workers at Harwich International Port and we are all trying to make sense of what the possible consequences could be of a no-deal exit from the European Union.

“Whichever way you look at it, you can only conclude that we are simply not ready and this will be devastating if the Prime Minister, who has got us into this terrible mess, actually does as she is threatening.

“She is basically holding a gun to the nation’s head and saying accept my way or the country gets it, which is so reckless.

“It’s beyond comprehension that our Prime Minister is prepared to see our economy absolutely shatter.”

Mr McDonald believes a lot of businesses around Harwich are totally unprepared for Brexit.

He said: “Drivers who would have to bring their goods across to Harwich from Europe are going to be turning that work away if they find themselves delayed or inconvenienced and they will prefer to take the work that is more convenient on mainland Europe.”

He said these are the sorts of ramifications and consequences of a no-deal Brexit.

“It’s all incredibly complex, and I think it is the most dangerous and difficult time any of us have lived through since the Second World War.”

Mr McDonald also raised concerns that Harwich does not have a sufficient number of border staff at present and will not have the resources once the Brexit administration is in place.

He added: “We are being given some false assurances that goods will flow like they always do, but I cannot see that coming to fruition.

“This is my first visit to Harwich and it was a bit foolish getting rid of the customs house here and the border staff.

“I think people are quite right to be concerned about that.”

The A120, the trunk road in and out of Harwich, was deemed “unacceptable” by Mr McDonald on his visit.

He said: “The state of the road is completely inadequate.The productivity of the area will be inadvertently affected if the infrastructure isn’t fit for business.”