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UK Cancels No-Deal Brexit Ferry Contracts

By ,   May 1, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

UK's Department for Transport cancels contracts to provide extra ferry services following Brexit. Ending the contracts with DFDS and Brittany Ferries could cost the taxpayer over GBP 50 million.

The government bought GBP 89 million worth of capacity from both shipping companies. Some of the capacity might be sold, but millions could be lost. These contracts were specifically designed to ease pressure on Port Dover via creating extra services at other ferry ports.

Port of Dover (England)

In February, UK's Department for Transport was forced to cancel its GBP 13.8 million contracts with a 3rd company (Seaborne Freight) which had never operated a Ro-Pax vessel.

Earlier in 2019, UK's National Audit Office estimated the cancellation costs of all the ferry contracts would be GBP 56.6 million. The cost is probably to only be several million pounds less than this.

The UK government was also forced to pay GBP 33 million to Eurotunnel, to settle a case that challenged the procurement process for the contracts. In addition, the DfT is facing legal action from P&O Ferries, that says its rival, Eurotunnel, was granted a competitive advantage by the government.