Brexit - Seaborne Freight - No Ships, No Port, And Now - No Contract


The controversial Brexit Ferry Contract awarded to a firm with no ships has been cancelled by the Department for Transport after an Irish shipping firm that had been secretly backing the deal pulled out. The decision by the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to award Seaborne Freight a contract worth £13.8m had attracted widespread criticism and ridicule.

The Department said on Friday it had decided to terminate the contract after Arklow Shipping, which had backed Seaborne Freight, stepped away from the deal.

A DfT Spokeswoman said ...
Following the decision of Seaborne Freight’s backer, Arklow Shipping, to step back from the deal, it became clear Seaborne would not reach its contractual requirements with the government. We have therefore decided to terminate our agreement. The government is already in advanced talks with a number of companies to secure additional freight capacity – including through the port of Ramsgate – in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Meeting the April deadline was always going to be impossible - construction works at the Port to make it simply functional and safe would have taken 6 months at the very least.

Just this week Thanet District Council proposed a budget that would have shut down parts of the port of Ramsgate for use by freight shipping, partly because of safety concerns over areas of the port not used for decades, and not currently safe.

There were also questions about the whole viability of Ramsgate as a ferry port - it can only accommodate ships up to 180m long, but modern ships are typically 230m to 250m to allow for the economies of scale that make them sustainable.

A perfect little microscosm, if one were needed, of the Daily Brexit Chaos we are enduring.



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