No Deal ferry contract cancelled after Irish firm pull out

A contract to put on ferries to mitigate the impact of a No Deal Brexit has been cancelled after an Irish firm pulled out of the deal.

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Seaborne Ferries attracted controversy after a £13m contract was awarded. This represents about 10% of the ferry contracts given out.

The Telegraph have revealed this morning that Arklow Shipping, an Irish firm and one of the EU’s biggest shipping firms, would be Seaborne’s major equity partner but have suddenly pulled out.

A Department for Transport Spokesman has said: “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 MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, questioned whether the Irish government may have intervened: “One has to hope that the Irish government has not lent on or put any pressure on Arklow to persuade it to pull out.

“That would be a very unfriendly act of a neighbour to obstruct No Deal preparations and one has to hope very sincerely that this is genuinely a corporate decision.”