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Government Cancels No-Deal Brexit Ferry Contract

By ,   February 10, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

A no-deal Brexit ferry contract that was awarded to Seaborne Freight, a company with no ferries, was canceled by the UK government after the company's backer, an Irish shipping firm, pulled out.

The multi-million GBP contract prompted criticism after it emerged that the start-up had no vessels or history running a ferry service. The Department for Transport confirmed on Saturday, February 9, that the deal had been pulled.

Port of Dover (England)

Image: Port of Dover (England)

Seaborne Freight intended to revive an alternative route between Ramsgate, east of Dover UK, and Ostend (Belgium) that closed 5 years ago.

The Department for Transport says it carried out "robust due diligence" on the Seaborne Freight company prior to awarding the contract. Arklow Shipping's backing of the firm, not previously disclosed due to commercial reasons, gave it confidence in the deal.

No taxpayer funds have been transferred to the company. The contract was one of 3 that were announced, totaling GBP103 million. The other 2 went to established operators, DFDS Seaways and Brittany Ferries.