AN MP has warned a no deal Brexit would be "catastrophic" for the region's process industry, as a North-East port says it is preparing for potential customs issues after the EU withdrawal.

Redcar MP Anna Turley said any disruption could cause plants to shut down for a period and any tariffs would impact competitiveness, adding the industry is heavily reliant on the import and export of chemicals, without the capacity to stockpile.

Her warning comes as,in preparation for leaving the EU, the Port of Tyne is currently applying for Authorised Economic Operator status to simply the customs process and is working to help importers and exporters prepare for the impact of Brexit, albeit with still much uncertainty.

The Tees Valley’s chemical cluster is the second biggest in Europe and the biggest in the UK, heavily integrated with wider supply chains which span across the English Channel.

It accounts for around 38 per cent of all process, chemicals and energy produced in the North-East and, as of 2015, employed around 7.600 people in the Tees Valley.

Ms Turley said: “If there are any costs or delays these companies will just shift their entire processing operations to Europe, taking jobs with them.

“You can’t stockpile chemicals and any delay is deeply damaging, but it is not just a no deal Brexit which will jeopardise this precious industry.

“The Government has already made one industrial site in my constituency a wasteland, and I am not prepared to risk a second when we are working so hard to get back on our feet.”

A spokesperson for Port of Tyne said: “The Port of Tyne has long promoted the benefits of coastal shipping through the Tyne as an alternative to the congestion of the South – for importers, manufactures and retailers the Port of Tyne can provide greater efficiencies though its prime location and multimodal connectively via sea, road and rail.

“The Port of Tyne has a remit to support the economy regionally and nationally and to play its part in the Northern Powerhouse and we are working with partners including the British Ports Association to help ensure the impact on UK ports and the maritime sector is fully considered.”