THE Humber is not only vital to the economy of our region, but to that of Britain as a whole.
It is one of the country’s great gateways to the world, as important a trade route now as in the days of sailing vessels.
Yet this indisputable fact seems to have made little impression on the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, and his department, which is a matter of the deepest concern.
The worries expressed by the Humber Local Resilience Forum ought to be at the forefront of the Government’s thinking on Brexit.
That is because the scenario they set out in the event of a no-deal Brexit would be nothing short of a national emergency, if as they fear, fuel supplies are disrupted.
The Government has done no modelling of what could potentially happen at the Humber ports in the event of leaving the EU without a deal.
That is grossly irresponsible, yet hardly a surprise from a Transport Secretary whose focus is always on the south of the country, to the detriment of the north.
All the planning for potential shipping problems has been at the Channel ports, particularly Dover, despite the fact that it carries less freight than the Humber.
This is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently.
The authorities who have written to Mr Grayling are not engaged in the political debate about Brexit, but concerned only about the management of a lifeline for Britain which cannot be ignored in planning for worst-case scenarios.
There is little enough time left before Britain is due to leave the EU, and a risk that the torrid political week that lies ahead may not produce much clarity.
But one thing is clear – the Humber must be readied for whatever the future brings its way.
The country depends on it being so.