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Labour chides government over ferry contract

Britain's Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling arrives in Downing Street, London, Britain, December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - The Labour Party on Monday criticised the government for awarding a 14 million pound contract to a ferry company with no ships to provide backup freight cover in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Labour's transport spokesman, Andy McDonald, Seaborne Freight, said the transport ministry had failed to carry out proper checks on the company.

"The Department for Transport’s claim that it carried out due diligence is increasingly incredible given the mounting evidence of a lack of relevant expertise or experience," McDonald said.

"Our economy depends on these trading routes continuing to function yet [Transport Secretary] Chris Grayling is prepared to rely on amateurs in the event of a no deal," he said.

"A no deal scenario would be terrible for our transport networks under any circumstance but the sheer incompetence with which preparations have been handled is alarming in the extreme."


(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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