Controversial Seaborne Freight Contract Cancelled

11th February 2019

The Road Haulage Association is not surprised by the Government’s decision to cancel the controversial no-deal Brexit ferry contract to Seaborne Freight.

The contract, worth £13.8m, had attracted widespread criticism and ridicule because the firm had no ferries and no experience of running ferry operations.

An Irish shipping firm that had been backing Seaborne pulled out its money and the Department for Transport then cancelled the deal.

The idea was for the firm to run extra crossings from Ramsgate to ease the pressure on Dover if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in March.

Earlier, the local council were asked by the Government to postpone a key vote which could have shut down parts of the port of Ramsgate for use by freight shipping.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: “When the contract was announced we said that three months to source the vessels, and recruit and train staff was tall order so this comes as no great surprise to us.”

He added that the Government’s no-deal contingency planning is too little, too late and won’t instil much confidence in businesses trying to plan for a post-Brexit future.

ENDS