More ferries are not a Brexit silver bullet

2nd January 2019

An increase in freight ferry services won’t resolve a no-deal Brexit border queue crisis, according to the Road Haulage Association.

The warning comes as transport secretary, Chris Grayling defended the Government’s choice of firm to operate a new Ramsgate to Ostend service.

He told the BBC Today programme that he makes no apology for “supporting a new British business” – Seaborne Freight – despite them having no ships or experience running a ferry service.

But RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett is worried that the company won’t have the time to get the service up and running for Brexit.

“Seaborne Freight has three months to source the vessels, recruit and train staff, and put all the infrastructure in place to launch the service before we leave the EU. It sounds like a very tall order.”

He says that the announcement of additional freight capacity at a number of ports and the relaunch of Ramsgate/Ostend is welcome, but warns against it being seen as a solution to ‘no-deal’ chaos at ports.