TOP politicians are demanding extra financial help for Hampshire as the county prepares for the chaos which could result from a no-deal Brexit.

Campaigners include Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith, who says the city must be given the funding it needs to cope with the disruption likely to arise if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement.

Hampshire County Council has made a similar plea, saying it requires extra resources to finance the contingency plans which are being put in place.

Mr Smith voted in favour of Britain leaving the EU.

But he fears Brexit-related gridlock caused by disruption at south coast ports could have a major impact on hospitals and other services.

The city and county councils are also warning that a no-deal departure could cause traffic misery across Hampshire if the shipping terminals in Southampton and Portsmouth are hit by delays.

This week members of the city council’s ruling cabinet will be warned the availability of essential supplies such a medicines and food could be affected.

And the county council says it fears that waste disposal services could be hit by export delays.

As a member of the EU the UK has been fully integrated into the single market and customs union, resulting in the frictionless movement of freight across borders.

But the government has warned a no-deal Brexit could result in extra checks being carried out on goods, including foodstuffs, crossing the Channel.

Mr Smith is a former leader of the city council - the port health authority.

In the national referendum he was one of 57,927 Southampton residents who voted in favour of Britain leaving the EU.

Now the outspoken MP has cited the chaos which could occur if the UK crashes out of the Union without reaching a trade agreement.

In a letter to local government secretary James Brokenshire, Mr Smith raises the prospect of Southampton being used as a “spill-over” port for Portsmouth or Dover.

The letter says: “There is potential disruption to the road network arising from the limitations to the access and egress to the port, and delayed sailings.

“Congestion on the road network could have a major impact on the operation of local hospitals and care providers.”

Mr Smith believes Southampton needs tens of thousands of pounds to cope with what he describes as “every eventuality”.

His letter to Mr Brokenshire, inset, adds: “It would be most helpful if additional capacities can be made available.”

The leader of the county council, Cllr Roy Perry is also concerned about the likely consequences of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking at a meeting of the authority he said: “The biggest concern in this part of the world is the impact on the ports of Hampshire.

“There could be congestion in Portsmouth, which could affect the road network in the rest of the county. I have asked the government for adequate funding.”

Cllr Perry referred to a recent meeting attended by MPs and representatives from local authorities and the emergency services.

He said: “This was an important opportunity for Hampshire’s public sector organisations to talk to Hampshire’s MPs about the pressing issues we are facing, and share with them the resilience plans we have in place ready for various potentialities depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. We’ll continue to keep MPs informed of how Hampshire is preparing for various scenarios so they can make any necessary representations to the government on Hampshire’s behalf.

“A key issue we face is the extra cost associated with the contingency plans we are putting in place to minimise the impact of any uncertainty on local businesses and residents, whatever happens after March 29.”

Only ten per cent of Southampton’s trade is with the EU - but that could change if a no-deal Brexit causes chaos at other ports.

A spokesperson for Associated British Ports, which runs Southampton docks, said: “We are committed to working with all the relevant authorities and our industry partners to make sure we can continue to help trade flow and grow after Brexit.”

It has also emerged that MPs from southern Hampshire have held talks with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. In a subsequent letter to those who attende, Mr Grayling denied that leaving the EU without an agreement would result in traffic chaos.

Suella Braverman, Tory MP for Fareham, said: “I was very pleased the Transport Secretary was able to dispel the overblown rumours circulating about the M27 and M3 effectively becoming a car park.”

Her comments follow claims that a 20-mile section of the M3 could be closed to cope with backed-up lorries at Portsmouth ferry port.

The complex currently handles 500 lorries a day but the figure could double if it has to ease some of the burden faced by Dover.