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UK government terminates £13.8m contract with Seaborne Freight for no-deal Brexit ferries

It’s been reported that the contract was cancelled after an Irish company, Arklow Shipping, withdrew its backing.

Image: EMPICS Entertainment

THE UK GOVERNMENT has terminated a contract with Seaborne Freight after it emerged that the company had no ships.

The UK government put out contracts to operate ferries in a no-deal Brexit scenario worth £103 million; Seaborne Freight was awarded a £13.8 million contract.

It later emerged that Seaborne Freight was without ships, and had terms and conditions on its website were copied and pasted from a food delivery firm.

This morning, the Daily Telegraph first reported that the contract was terminated by the UK government after an Irish company that was backing Seaborne Freight withdrew from the deal. 

A Department for Transport spokeswoman told the Press Association:

“Following the decision of Seaborne Freight’s backer, Arklow Shipping, to step back from the deal, it became clear Seaborne would not reach its contractual requirements with the government. We have therefore decided to terminate our agreement.

The government is already in advanced talks with a number of companies to secure additional freight capacity – including through the port of Ramsgate – in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Telegraph that the Irish government should confirm that it hadn’t intervened in the incident, or “obstructed” the UK’s no-deal Brexit plans.

Arklow Shipping and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have both been contacted for comment.

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