The government has not spoken to French ports and has used satellite imagery to make “untested” assumptions for its no-deal Brexit plans for Portsmouth.

A Department for Transport document from January, seen by BBC Newsnight, said: “We have not engaged with French port operators or the ferry companies”.

Earlier this year, the government was forced to axe its no-deal contract with a ferry-less shipping company.

The Department for Transport said it does not comment on leaked documents.

The document, called “EU Exit No Deal Planning: Portsmouth Port Analysis”, makes an official assumption that French ports would have capacity to hold vehicles – that have sailed from the Hampshire port – while they are waiting to be checked by customs.

“Our assessment is based on satellite imagery and conversations

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