MICHAEL Gove has directly contradicted England’s most senior medical adviser after she warned a no-deal Brexit may lead to deaths.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the outgoing chief medical officer, insisted lives will be put at risk if the UK crashes out of the EU at the end of this month.

But Mr Gove said he stood by his assurances that no one’s health will suffer as a result of no agreement being secured.

Scotland’s Brexit Secretary Mike Russell challenged him over Dame Sally’s remarks at the latest meeting of the cross-border Joint Ministerial Committee (European Negotiations).

Speaking to journalists in Edinburgh afterwards, Mr Gove said: “I think Mike knows, as we all do, how much work has been done by the Department of Health and Social Care and by the NHS in order to make sure that people can have uninterrupted access, not just to the drugs they need but also to the medical products that supplement it.

“I was at a meeting of the [EU Exit Operations] committee earlier today where we were reassured by the Department of Health and Social Care on the work that has been undertaken in order to ensure that we can have not just an uninterrupted supply, but also everything the NHS needs to keep people well and safe.”

Asked if he thought Dame Sally was being alarmist, he said: “I’m a great fan of Dame Sally, but my job is just to make sure that we do all the work required in order to mitigate any risk.”

Mr Gove was then asked if stood by his remarks to the Commons last month, when he assured MPs that no one’s health will suffer because of a no-deal Brexit.

The Cabinet Office minister, who is in charge of no-deal preparations, replied: “Yes.”

Dame Sally told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The health service and everyone has worked very hard to prepare.

"But I say what I've said before, that we cannot guarantee that there will not be shortages not only in medicines but technology and gadgets and things.

"And there may be deaths, we can't guarantee there won't."

Pressed if lives are at risk, she firmly replied: "They are at risk."

Following the JMC (EN) meeting, Mr Russell said: "What came out of today’s meeting was the UK Government’s continued refusal to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

"This morning the outgoing chief medical officer of England said lives could be at risk in the event of a no-deal.

"That is one of the most serious things I have heard. Yet nothing said today suggests the UK Government has any intention of taking a no-deal off the table.

"It is nearly three years since the JMC (EN) was established with a remit to involve the devolved administrations in developing the UK’s negotiating position, but there has still been no meaningful progress.

"Indeed on the basis of today’s meeting, in some areas we are going backwards."