Friday, 1 July 2022 – 15:30

‘No-deal’ latest – £107 million on extra ferries

The UK is to spend more than £107 million on ferries to ease congestion at ports in the case of a no-deal where the UK crashes out of the EU.

The revelation comes as the Department for Transport awarded contracts to French, Danish and British companies. These will be tasked with developing additional capacity for lorries at ports in Poole, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Immingham and Felixstowe. 

This has arisen in response to fears that that increased checks at borders would slow down the flow of goods across into the UK, and out into the EU. Currently, under the rules of the EU’s Customs Union (CU) and Single Market (SM), the UK enjoys frictionless trade. However, under a no-deal scenario, whereby the UK unilaterally leaves the EU without a trade-deal ensuring some access, membership of the CU and SM would end.

In response, the Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Vince Cable, described the move as “complete madness” and reminded the government that it could stop a no-deal at any point.

Indeed, Sir Vince posited that the fact the majority of the contracts were awarded to EU companies was “nothing short of ironic”. The Danish company DFDS was awarded a contract worth £47.3 million, whereas the British company, Seaborne was only awarded a £13.8 million deal. 

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