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UK authorities cancels Brexit ferry offers

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Media captionChris Grayling says the contracts have been a part of a no-deal ‘insurance coverage coverage’.

The Division for Transport is cancelling contracts to offer further ferry providers after Brexit.

Ending the contracts with Brittany Ferries and DFDS may price the taxpayer greater than £50m.

The federal government purchased £89m price of capability from the 2 companies. A few of that capability could be bought, however thousands and thousands of kilos could possibly be misplaced.

The contracts have been designed to ease stress on the port of Dover, by creating further providers at different ports.

In February, the DfT was pressured to axe its £13.8m contract with a 3rd firm, Seaborne Freight, which the BBC discovered had by no means sailed a vessel.

Earlier this yr, the Nationwide Audit Workplace estimated that the cancellation prices of all of the ferry contracts could be £56.6m.

The price is prone to solely be a number of million kilos lower than this.

A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “The termination of those contracts has resulted in much less price to the taxpayer than the termination prices reported by the NAO.”

The federal government was additionally pressured to pay £33m to Eurotunnel, to settle a case which challenged the procurement course of for the ferry contracts.

As well as, the DfT is now going through authorized motion from P&O Ferries, which says its rival, Eurotunnel, was given a aggressive benefit by the federal government.

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Getty Pictures

Picture caption

Brittany Ferries is without doubt one of the suppliers which had a contract to offer further ferry providers

‘We wanted to be prepared’

Mr Grayling, the Transport Secretary, mentioned the cancelled contracts have been a part of a £4bn no-deal “insurance coverage coverage” the federal government had put in place.

“Folks would count on a accountable authorities to take out an insurance coverage coverage, and that is what we have achieved, to ensure we are able to cope with all of the challenges in a no-deal Brexit.

“We by no means wished it, we by no means labored for it, however we certain as sure wanted to be prepared for it,” he mentioned.

If further cross-Channel freight providers are wanted once more within the run-up to the brand new Brexit deadline in October, the federal government may have to barter a brand new set of contracts, he mentioned.

Grayling beneath fireplace

Labour shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald mentioned the contracts might be “a case examine in ministerial incompetence” on the a part of Mr Grayling.

“The Transport Secretary’s method to procurement and planning has price taxpayers tens, if not, tons of of thousands and thousands of kilos. His profession as a minister has left a path of scorched earth and billions of kilos of public cash wasted.

“This nation can not afford Chris Grayling.”

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