There has been widespread public outcry after a shipping contract was handed out to a company, with no ships or experience of running a shipping line, in no Brexit deal scenario.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling claimed it was fine to hand out the £13million contract because “it’s a new start-up business”
He said it was “no problem” despite Seaborne Freight being expected to run emergency ferries if there’s no deal over Brexit and would be running essential services to keep the country running.
They would operate services between Ramsgate and the continent in the event of a no-deal departure.
Mr Grayling said: “I make no apologies for supporting a new British business.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong in the Government supporting small business.”
He told the BBC: “They will be on track to run ferries in April. This is something we haven’t plucked from thin air.”
He added: “I don’t see any problem in supporting a new British business.”
Tory councillor Paul Messenger questioned the contract, saying: “It has no ships and no trading history so how can due diligence be done?
“Why choose a company that never moved a single truck in their entire history and give them £14 million? I don’t understand the logic of that.”
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