The Syrian chemicals on their way to  Ellesmere Port could have been used  to create an arsenal of  the most toxic  weapons.

The Chronicle reveals chemicals  could have been put together with  others to make VX gas –  more toxic  than the Sarin gas thought to have  killed hundreds during the Syrian  civil war.

The government stressed the  substances coming to Veolia’s Bridges Road incinerator are not chemical  weapons and no worse than  materials typically treated at  the site.

On their own, the chemicals  are not considered a threat and  their transport and  destruction will be carefully  overseen.

But the Ministry of Defence  said they could have been  ingredients used in the  production  of deadly VX had  they not been removed from Syria. VX  is reportedly 10 times more potent  than Sarin, which UN weapons  inspectors believe was used in attacks   in Damascus last August.

French intelligence   last year stated  their belief President Bashar Assad’s  regime possessed “several tens of tons  of VX” which it described as “the most  toxic among the known chemical   warfare agents.”

Both the government and Veolia  say the “B-precursors” are no different to civilian chemicals dealt with at  the Bridges Road plant for years.

And MoD under-secretary Phillip  Dunne MP said: “The ‘B’ chemicals  would become highly toxic only if  mixed with an ‘A’-precursor to  make V-type nerve agents.”

After being asked for  clarification on what V-type  nerve agents are, the MoD  confirmed “in their most  potent form they can become  VX gas”. For the 150 tonnes of  chemicals heading to  Ellesmere Port to create VX  they would need to be mixed  with the correct A-precursors. 

Those are being transported  to other countries for destruction, and  Public Health England has become the  latest  agency to reassure the public.

Responding to a  query from  Cheshire West and Chester council,  the agency  said: “In terms of the local  situation we understand that the  Veolia plant is permitted to dispose of  these sorts of chemicals in accordance  with relevant regulations.”