A NO-deal Brexit would have 'grim but inescapable' impacts on British agriculture, the environment secretary Michael Gove told an audience in Oxford.

Mr Gove, who was in favour of Brexit ahead of the referendum in June 2016, said while Theresa May's Brexit deal is 'not perfect', the impacts of leaving with no deal would be worse.

He told the Oxford Farming Conference yesterday: "While Project Fear proved to be fiction, when we look at what a no-deal Brexit could involve we do need to be clear about the costs and facts.

"A no-deal Brexit means we would face overall tariff rates of around 11 per cent on agricultural products. But some sectors would be much more severely affected."

He added: "It’s a grim but inescapable fact that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the effective tariffs on beef and sheep meat would be above 40 per cent – in some cases well above that."

Mr Gove met Oxford City Council's Lord Mayor Colin Cook and sheriff Craig Simmons on his visit.

But the Liberal Democrats said Brexit has been a 'national embarrassment'.

Alistair Carmichael said: "Mr Gove is still not listening to any experts while it is clear he has forgotten the assurances he and his cronies gave the farming community during the referendum."

He added: “This is a national embarrassment, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. The people must have the final say on Brexit, with the option to restore certainty and security for farmers by remaining in the EU.”