Ferry Contracts Could Cost Millions More If Brexit Is Delayed

By ,   March 16, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

The UK government will have to spend tens of millions more than it already has to maintain all passenger ferry contracts it currently has in place for a no-deal Brexit, in case, as expected the exit of the country from the European Union is delayed.

The Department for Transport agreed on deals with 3 separate suppliers for additional freight capacity on ferry boats back in December 2018 in a bid to prevent congestion on roads to the coast.

Brittany Ferries, one of the companies contracted, said it would have to be compensated for expenses like large staffing costs and fuel use.

The UK could still leave the EU as planned on March 29 but MPs voted on Thursday, March 14, in favor of asking the Union to delay Brexit.

Brittany Ferries announced it had planned twenty additional weekly sailings, moved 20,000 passenger bookings, and employed extra staff to accommodate the Department for Transport.

Brittany Ferries

Contracts with ferry services have already cost the UK government millions of pounds. A settlement with Eurotunnel cost GBP33 million after the government was sued for not considering it.

A deal with Seaborne Freight was canceled after it was revealed the company had never run an appropriate service and had no ferries.

Eurotunnel argued that, unlike Seaborne Freight, it had run a cross-channel ferry service in MyFerryLink, that closed in 2015, and should have been considered.

Last month, a report from the National Audit Office revealed that deals with DFDS, Brittany Ferries, and Seaborne Freight were worth more thanGBP100 million and did not include a provision for Brexit delay while canceling them prior to the end of March would incur a termination charge of up to GBP56.6 million.