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British government awards post-Brexit freight contracts worth £77.6m to four ferry companies

The government said the arrangement will ensure vital supplies continue to be delivered to the UK whatever the outcome of negotiations.

Image: PA

FOUR FERRY COMPANIES in the UK have been handed government contracts worth a total of £77.6 million (€85.9m) to provide post-Brexit freight capacity.

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced that it has signed agreements with Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O Ferries and Stena Line.

This will ensure that vital medical supplies and other critical goods “continue to be smoothly delivered into the UK whatever the outcome of negotiations with the EU”, the DfT said.

The contracts will be in place for up to six months after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

Then-transport secretary Chris Grayling faced calls to resign last year after handing a £14 million (€15.5m) contract to Seaborne Freight to run post-Brexit freight services, despite the firm having no ships or trading history.

His successor, Grant Shapps, said: “As the transition period comes to an end, we are putting the necessary measures in place to safeguard the smooth and successful flow of freight.

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“Securing these contracts ensures that irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations, life-saving medical supplies and other critical goods can continue to enter the UK from the moment we leave the EU.”

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