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Ramsgate ‘can not be ready’ for Brexit ferries

Port of Ramsgate Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Seaborne’s contract at Ramsgate was one of three awarded to ease “severe congestion” at Dover, in the case of a no-deal Brexit

The Port of Ramsgate “can not be ready” for extra ferry services in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the councillor for the harbour area.

Seaborne Freight has been given a £13.8m contract to run a freight service between Ramsgate and Ostend in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

However, Conservative councillor Beverly Martin says the harbour can not be ready by Brexit on 29 March.

The government said facilities will be open “as soon as practicable”.

In a statement the Department for Transport said that “works are underway”.

Ramsgate has not had a regular ferry service since 2013.

Seaborne’s contract was one of three awarded to ease “severe congestion” at Dover, in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

The contingency plans allow for almost 4,000 more lorries a week to come and go from other ports, including Plymouth, Poole, and Portsmouth.

In total the contracts are worth £103m.

“From local knowledge, there is terrific concern that we [Ramsgate Port] can not possibly by ready. There isn’t the width or the breadth of the berths that is needed to carry large ships,” the councillor said.

“I don’t see how, with the state of the harbour and the port and the number of repairs that are needed that it could be ready.”

No emails

Ms Martin also said there had been no contact with the council about opening the harbour for larger freight ships.

“We didn’t have any notification o

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