Border Force staff check lorries and trucks arriving at the UK border as they leave a cross-channel ferry that has just arrived in Portsmouth from France | Matt Cardy/Getty Images
UK to spend over £100M on ferries in case of no-deal Brexit
Contracts given to British and European companies.
Updated 12/29/18, 1:08 PM CET
The U.K. will spend more than £107 million on ferries to ease congestion at ports in case of a no-deal Brexit.
The Department of Transport has awarded contracts to French, Danish and British companies to develop additional lorry capacity at the ports of Poole, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Immingham and Felixstowe.
Increased checks after Brexit could “cause delivery of critical goods to be delayed” and significantly disrupt the road network around the port of Dover, the BBC reported, citing documents outlining the agreements.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable described the move as “complete madness” as the government has the power to stop a no-deal Brexit at any time.
“The fact that this money is predominantly going to European companies is nothing short of ironic,” Cable told the BBC.
The Danish company DFDS was awarded a contract worth £47.3 million and British firm Seaborne a £13.8 million deal. France’s Brittany Ferries’ contract is worth £46.6 million.
The additional crossings would amount to about 10 percent of existing traffic across the Strait of Dover and provide up to half a million tonnes a month in extra capacity.
The documents state that an “unforeseeable”