Feb 12, 2019

Government sued over no-deal ferry contracts

AFP The government is being sued for its decision to charter firms to run extra ferries, including one with no ships, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. At a High Court hearing in London, Eurotunnel claimed the government contracts, announced on 29 December, were awarded without any public notice. Ewan West, representing Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in court, said the government's procurement process was only for "Maritime freight" services and that Eurotunnel "Could never have provided that capacity" and "Could not have complied" with the terms of the contracts. When the Department for Transport announced the contracts in December, in documents outlining the agreements it stated that an "Unforeseeable" situation of "Extreme urgency" meant there was no time for the contracts to be put out to tender - the standard practice for public procurements. The decision to award a contract to Seaborne, a firm with no ships which the BBC found had never run a ferry service before, has been heavily criticised.

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