Friday, January 4, 2019

Dredging Starts at UK Port That May Be Used in No-Deal Brexit

I was under the impression that, even though the French ports weren't included in the formal EU/EC plan plan for Ireland:
Shipping: "France Loses Out on Brexit billions: Belgian and Dutch ports picked for new Irish route"
the northern French ports had said they were ready to serve the English trade should the need arise. If the idea is to go as far east as Ramsgate they might as well just run a shuttle to Dunkirk's fine port, maybe do a reverse Operation Dynamo with the little ships and Prince Michael standing in for Admiral Ramsay.

Too much history? Here's a little mystery: why did these guys get the contract?

Via gCaptain, Jan. 3:
Work began on Thursday to extend a small British port that could serve as a back-up if the UK leaves the European Union with no trade deal, providing the government some respite after days of criticism.

Less than three months before Britain leaves the EU on March 29, the transport minister has been forced to defend awarding a 14 million pound ($18 million) contract for shipping goods to a new ferry company that has no ships.

On Thursday the company, Seaborne Freight, came in for further criticism when its business terms and conditions showed references to placing “any meal/order”, prompting speculation on social media that it had copied the format from a takeaway delivery company.

“Seaborne Freight. No ships, no trading history and website T&Cs copied and pasted from a takeaway delivery site,” Tom Watson, deputy leader of the opposition Labour Party, said on Twitter.
The Department for Transport said the company’s section on terms and conditions was put up in error and the company said it was updating its website as part of the launch.

But the furore has raised questions over whether Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has sufficient resources to prepare for its exit from the world’s biggest trading bloc after 46 years.
Currently, Britain’s EU membership means that trucks drive smoothly through border checks within the bloc. But in a no-deal Brexit, even a few minutes’ delay at customs for each truck could mean vehicles backed up at ports and queued on feeder roads on both sides of the Channel.

Britain awarded contracts worth more than 100 million pounds in total to three shipping firms to provide extra ferries. The other two are established operators – French firm Britanny Ferries and Danish group DFDS.

The port at Ramsgate could be used if customs checks clog the main terminals of Calais in France and Dover and Folkestone in Britain. The dredging will enable greater access for roll-on roll-off (RORO) ships and could help ease potential congestion....MORE