The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has raised its fears over the number of inspections by vets that will be needed once the UK has officially left the EU.

Once December 31 has passed, all consignments of meat or meat-based products will need to be inspected by an official veterinarian and be signed off with an export health certificate.

The BMPA has said the government has known about this problem since 2016, but with less than 100 days to go, has still not shown how it intends to resolve the issue.

Nick Allen, chief executive of the BMPA, said:

"We have been pressing the government for three years now to lay out the details of exactly how these barriers to trade will be dealt with.

They have known since the beginning that we will need an army of extra qualified vets to cope with the 500% increase in workload.

"All the guidance in the world is useless if we are not able to complete required export paperwork because of a chronic shortage of vets. If this is not addressed, £175 million/month of meat exports will be at risk.

"The bottom line is that British companies cannot prepare effectively for Brexit because the UK government is not keeping to its side of the bargain by putting in place the right measures and resources and failing to give us the answers we desperately need," he concluded.