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Brexit ferry deals could cost UK millions more

Published : Sunday, 17 March, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 195

LONDON, Mar 16: The government will be forced to spend tens of millions of additional pounds to keep its no-deal ferry contracts in place if Brexit is delayed.
In December the Department for Transport contracted three suppliers to provide additional freight capacity on ferries for lorries. That was in case a no-deal Brexit led to congestion on roads to the coast.
Brittany Ferries, one of the contractors, said it had already incurred large fuel and staffing costs. It said it would need to be compensated for those expenses.
Although the UK could still leave the EU as planned on 29 March, MPs have voted in favour of asking the EU to delay Brexit.
The government's procurement of additional cross-channel ferry services has already led to the collapse of a contract with the ferry-less Seaborne Freight, and cost the taxpayer £33m for a settlement with Eurotunnel.
Seaborne Freight had its deal cancelled after the Irish company backing it pulled out. Shortly after it was awarded the contract, the BBC found out that Seaborne had no ships and had never run a ferry service.
Meanwhile, Eurotunnel sued the government because it had not been considered for a contract.    -BBC

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