British shops could be hit with shortages if the UK does not get a Brexit deal which keeps frictionless trade with France, Dominic Raab last night admitted.
The Brexit Secretary said he had not 'understood' just how dependent the UK is on the Dover-Calais crossing to provide the range of products on shop shelves.
And he warned that consumers could see their choice slashed if the frictionless trade was closed down - although he said he would not expect massive shortages.
He said this is why Britain has said that it wants to maintain a very close trading relationship with the European Union.
But his remarks were branded 'shocking' by anti Brexit campaigners who said they highlighted how the scale of Britain's departure has been underestimated.
Speaking at a TechUK event last night, Mr Raab said: 'We make clear that we want a bespoke arrangement on goods which recognises the peculiar geographic entity that is the United Kingdom.
'We are, and I hadn't understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and how we trade in goods we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing.'
He said this is why the UK wants to have a close trading relationship with the Brussels bloc 'particularly for just in time manufacturing goods, whether it's pharmaceutical or perishable goods.
'I don't think it's a risk of major shortages, but probably the average consumer might not be aware of the full extent of the choice we have of goods in the store are dependent on one or two very specific trade routes.
'So that is why we have frictionless trading on EU goods and why we said we would be able to sign up to some of the rules to make sure we can preserve the frictionless border.
'When we come to tech it's a different set of considerations.'
Labour MP Jo Stevens MP, a campaigner with the anti Brexit group Best for Britain, said: 'We finally have an admission of what we've known all along - that the Brexiteers hadn't really thought through any of the impacts of leaving the EU.
'These comments are shocking.
'British jobs, supplies and services rely on key border crossings like the Dover strait and the fact that the Brexit Secretary is only just realising this is a serious cause for concern.
'There's only one clear solution. We need a people's vote on the final deal, with the option of staying in the EU and retaining our vital trade links.'