London mayor Sadiq Khan is set to instruct crisis planners to prepare for Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.
He said he had been left with “no choice” but to instruct the London resilience forum, which usually works on contingency plans for terrorism attacks and disasters such as the Grenfell Tower fire, to start examining the risks of a no-deal Brexit.
The body, which is made up of 170 organisations including the emergency services, local authorities and the NHS, would assess whether London is at risk of medicine and food shortages in the event of a no-deal.
Mr Khan, in an interview with the Guardian, said that the government was being “held hostage by the hard-Brexit zealots in Parliament” that made a no-deal Brexit more likely.
He said: “If the government had taken a different approach to the negotiations this would never have been an option, but we are now left with no choice but to plan for a no-deal scenario.”
Mr Khan told the Guardian he would launch a consultation for London businesses to determine areas where City Hall could help them prepare for Brexit eventualities, but added that it was already clear the biggest threat was to the rights of European employees, who have not had their status guaranteed in the event of no deal.
He said: “The government’s current offer of settled status relies on a successful outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
“If talks were to break down, the three million EU citizens living in the UK, around one million of whom are Londoners, would have no guarantee that their rights to stay and work would be protected.
“Businesses regularly report the difficulty they face in getting the talented workers they need, and to now threaten the Europeans they currently employ is completely and utterly reckless.”
Prime minister Theresa May has previously pledged that “EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay”, whatever the outcome of the negotiations.