THE boss of a North-East freeport has admitted he is "not entirely clear" what his firm needs to do to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, as he issues a damning assessment of the Government's handling of Britain's exit from the EU.

PD Ports chief executive Frans Calje accused Parliament of a "complete lack of decision making" and said the effects of this will be "noticeable years down the line when we can't keep up with global competition".

Mr Calje was speaking to The Northern Echo at the launch of a North-East shipping school earlier this week, when he also said freeport status for Teesport could be a "game changer", but admitted it will not immediately create "prosperity on our doorstep".

He said: "The harsh truth of it all is, whether it is no-deal or a deal, that the current state of limbo where Parliament fails to reach a majority for whatever Brexit might mean or will be, paralyses the country.

"It doesn't matter where you are at this particular time, whether you are leave or remain, people need to get clarity.

"The country has been paralysed for the last three-and-a-half years by a complete lack of decision making and that is reflected in a drop in the levels of investment into the UK, and whilst that is not noticeable today, it will be noticeable years down the line when we can't keep up with global competition.

"I would urge Parliament, whatever it is you are going to do, make your mind up and work together."

Mr Calje also admitted the uncertainty was making it difficult to prepare for a possible no-deal exit.

"The difficulty is understanding what a no-deal Brexit means for us, so we are really reliant on and are asking Government for clarity as to what is required for us to prepare ourselves.

"Everybody is saying we just need to know what we need to do, and I am not entirely clear from a port perspective. Yes we've got adequate capacity, but we might get caught out depending on what the Brexit scenario is going to be."

Discussing freeports, he added: "They could be a game changer, but we have to manage expectations too – it is not going to be the silver bullet. It will not be a case of we leave the EU and on day one, prosperity is on your doorstep.

"It is about looking at areas like Teesport where you have got a massive amount of land available for the port to attract inward investment to come to the Tees Valley and for factories to build cars, renewable industry and really accelerate those type of investments. That will take years to get off the ground , but it could be a game changer."