BREXITEER Tory MP Priti Patel has caused outrage after suggesting the UK use the threat of food shortages in Ireland to get a better deal with the EU.

Nicola Sturgeon blasted the “sheer moral bankruptcy” of the comments.

Patel was responding to Government papers leaked to the Times suggesting Ireland would face food shortages if the UK failed to secure an agreement with the EU.

With 80% of Irish road freight that reaches the EU passing through the UK, the assessment warns that any additional checks at the border “would cause challenges”.

The papers specifically warn that trade in perishable goods, such as food supplies, would be particularly badly affected.

Patel, a former international development secretary, told the Times: “This paper appears to show the Government were well aware Ireland will face significant issues in a no-deal scenario.

“Why hasn’t this point been pressed home during the negotiations?

“There is still time to go back to Brussels and get a better deal.”

The National:

'Reckless': Mary Lou McDonald hit out at the Tory's suggestion

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald suggested Patel learn some history and called on the Tory to reconsider her comments.

“That statement was, for obvious historical reasons, very distasteful, and insensitive and gauche.

“It also belies, really, a reckless and almost juvenile mentality.”

“They’re not entitled to wreck Ireland and they need to really grasp and understand that.”

READ MORE: Tories block SNP Government from paying EU nationals' fees

Meanwhile, Theresa May is insisting that Tuesday’s vote on her Brexit deal will go ahead, despite facing what will likely be an enormous defeat in the Commons.

It comes as the latest Government assessment of a no-deal Brexit revealed that disruption of ferries between Dover and Calais and traffic using the Channel Tunnel could last six months.

Previous Government estimates had suggested delays would only last six weeks.

The warning came in a letter sent by Health Secretary Matt Hancock to the pharmaceutical industry.

He also revealed that ministers are drawing up plans to fly in vital drugs and give priority to lorries carrying medical supplies at gridlocked ports.

The National:

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has underlined his party's commitment to EU membership 

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote Ian Blackford revealed that the SNP and Plaid Cymru are to ask MPs to back a motion calling for the extension of the Article 50 process.

If selected by the Speaker, the SNP amendment to Tuesday’s meaningful vote will also see the Commons asked to decline May’s “negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship”.

Blackford said: “People in Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU and, in line with their wishes, the SNP supports continued full EU membership.”

The LibDems have fallen out with the official People’s Vote campaign, after the activists described an amendment in the name of Vince Cable, which calls for a second Brexit vote, as “deeply unhelpful”. Unlike other amendments, the LibDem motion does not call for May’s deal and a no-deal Brexit to be ruled out.

This means that, if it was accepted by MPs, the LibDem amendment could result in May’s plan being approved subject to confirmation in a referendum.

The People’s Vote campaign said: “This amendment is more about political point-scoring.”