MOTORISTS could face ‘major disruption’ on the county's major roads because of Brexit - but authorities remain hopeful its impact will be low.

Traffic caused by lorries using ports on the south coast and disruption to the Oxfordshire supply chain are set to be the biggest problems, according to a county council manager.

Despite continued uncertainty over Brexit – which is scheduled to take place on March 29 – the council insists Oxfordshire will be ‘well prepared’.

But it said it has contacted the Government for advice over potential problems for the county’s science and innovation sector.

Its chief fire officer Simon Furlong, who is responsible for emergency planning at the county council, said: “The biggest risk of disruption is to transport and the supply chain, for instance managing lorry traffic to or from the south coast ports.

“The Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum already has plans to manage the impact of major disruption to strategic roads in the area, which are being reviewed in the context of Brexit.”

The council’s work is fed into the forum, which is made up of representatives from local authorities, emergency services, environment-related Government bodies, the NHS and other health bodies.

Mr Furlong insisted all work done so far is ‘proportionate’.

He said: “Oxfordshire has a strong local economy that means it is relatively well placed to deal with any immediate economic change from leaving the EU.

"That said, we recognise concerns expressed by local employers about issues such as the supply chain and staffing.”

He added: “We have contacted the Government in relation to Oxfordshire’s science and innovation sector.”

Last month, the county council was allocated 0.15 per cent of a Government fund to support Brexit preparation. From a £56.5m pot given to authorities over this financial year and in 2019/20, Oxfordshire will receive a total of £87,500.

Another £3.1m was announced for 19 local authorities with major air, land or sea ports yesterday.

As part of the county council’s work, potential risks to vulnerable people have been identified and ‘are being mitigated,’ Mr Furlong said.

But opponents to Brexit insisted any potential disruption should mean the Government thinks again.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said: “The dangers of the UK crashing out of the EU continue to generate much uncertainty for businesses, communities and public services across Oxfordshire.”

Ms Moran, who supports a People's Vote, said: “Whilst I am pleased that public bodies have assessed risks to public safety and normal daily life as low, it is astonishing that they need to make these sorts of assessments in the first place.”

Richard Bailey, the owner of Daisies Flower Shop in Walton Street, Jericho, also supports a People’s Vote.

He said: “Although we try to source flowers mostly from the UK, we are trading with the Netherlands and South America a lot. Brexit could be a nightmare for our business. One of our team is German and I’m also concerned about her position with us here.”

Mr Bailey’s business has been operating for 37 years.

He added: “I think a People’s Vote is needed because during the first referendum campaign, we were told lies and people had no information to vote on. Now we can see businesses moving abroad and people being treated poorly, surely it’s time the politicians stopped playing party politics and listened to the people.”

When the EU referendum was held in June 2016, Cherwell was the only Oxfordshire district to vote to leave.