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No ships, no experience but it’s British so that’s OK

January 1, 2019 3:36 PM
In Independent

The news that Seabourne Freight has been awarded a contract by the government to help ferry freight lorries across the channel in the event of a 'no-deal brexit' has been met with disbelief locally and nationally.

Seaborne Freight, which has not previously operated a ferry service, was one of three firms tasked with laying on additional crossings to ease the pressure on Dover.

It aims to operate freight ferries from Ramsgate in Kent to Ostend in Belgium, beginning with two ships in late March and increasing to four by the end of the summer.

But a Conservative county councillor for Ramsgate said he did not believe it would be possible to set up a new service from the port by the scheduled date of Brexit on 29 March.

Paul Messenger also questioned whether the government had carried out sufficient checks on the firm, telling the BBC: "It has no ships and no trading history so how can due diligence be done?

"Why choose a company that never moved a single truck in their entire history and give them £14m? I don't understand the logic of that."

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey said: "That the government has reportedly signed a contract with a ferry company with no ferries pretty much sums up their farcical approach to the entire Brexit fiasco.

"The government could, and should, take the threat of a no-deal Brexit off the table. It is being used only to try and scaremonger people into backing their deal. It is now costing the country millions - it is inexcusable and people won't be fooled.

"People must be given the final say on the Brexit deal with a people's vote where they have the right to choose to remain."