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Brexit: Seaborne Freight no-deal ferry contract scrapped

Ferry services have not operated from Ramsgate since 2013, but Seaborne Freight planned to launch services from there by Brexit day on 29 MarchPicture copyright
EPA

Picture caption

Ferry providers haven’t operated from Ramsgate since 2013, however Seaborne Freight deliberate to launch providers from there by Brexit day on 29 March

A controversial ferry contract awarded to an organization with no ships as a part of no-deal Brexit plans has been scrapped, the federal government has mentioned.

Ministers had confronted criticism for the £13.8m cope with Seaborne Freight, which has by no means run a ferry service.

The Division of Transport mentioned it made the choice after the corporate’s Irish backer pulled out.

The federal government is now in “superior talks” to search out one other firm to exchange the cancelled deal.

The Each day Telegraph, which first reported the cancelled contract, mentioned Arklow Delivery, a significant Irish transport agency, withdrew its help from Seaborne “with out warning”.

Seaborne Freight was awarded the £13.8m contract in December to run a freight service between Ramsgate and Ostend within the occasion that Britain leaves the EU with no deal on 29 March.

However the authorities faced strong criticism for selecting an organization with no ships or buying and selling historical past, and for leaving too little time to ascertain the brand new ferry service earlier than the Brexit deadline of 29 March.

On the time, the federal government mentioned that it awarded the contract “within the full information that Seaborne is a brand new transport supplier” and mentioned that the corporate had been “rigorously vetted”.

However on Saturday, the Division of Transport mentioned that it has now develop into clear that Seaborne “wouldn’t attain its contractual necessities”, after Arklow Delivery backed out of the deal.

Picture copyright
Getty Photographs

Picture caption

The federal government introduced it has determined to terminate its settlement with Seaborne

A spokesman mentioned: “The federal government is already in superior talks with quite a few corporations to safe extra freight capability – together with via the Port of Ramsgate – within the occasion of a no-deal Brexit.”

No taxpayer cash has been transferred to Seaborne. The federal government mentioned its confidence within the viability of the cope with Seaborne was based mostly on Arklow Delivery’s backing of the corporate and the assurances it acquired from them.


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