A report by MPs has hit out at authorities preparations for a no-deal Brexit, saying cancelled contracts for ferry freight capability had been “rushed and dangerous” and value taxpayers £85m.
The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) stated the Division for Transport (DfT) “should be taught” from the episode, which befell within the months earlier than the unique 29 March deadline for the UK to go away the EU.
The DfT had organized contracts price greater than £50m to hold important freight and items within the occasion of no deal to fight the opportunity of provide disruption at UK ports.
The PAC stated a authorized problem to the procurement by Eurotunnel, which was settled out of courtroom, added £33m to the full invoice.
Its report additionally raised critical doubts about present departmental plans within the run-up to the present EU exit date of 31 October, saying they gave the impression to be “ready for clear directions” because the Conservative management contest runs its course.
It stated: “We acknowledge that with out political certainty it’s difficult, however the authorities must inject course into departments’ preparations for leaving the EU with a deal, with out a deal, or any delay, as a matter of urgency.”
It emerged in the course of the procurement course of that one firm initially awarded work had no ships.
Labour stated the ferry findings had been additional proof of failure by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling – with the get together renewing its name for him to resign.
Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald stated: “It’s past perception that he must be given one other alternative to squander public money and throw our transport networks into chaos.
“This nation can not afford Chris Grayling.”
The PAC referred to as on his division to set out within the subsequent few weeks what it had learnt from the cancelled contracts.
A Division for Transport spokesperson stated: “The freight capability contracts had been taken out as an insurance coverage coverage for the UK to make sure that key medical provides might be assured within the occasion of a no-deal Brexit.
“This step was in response to modified assumptions about potential delays within the Dover strait, and the agreements had been entered into as quickly as a cross-government collective choice was taken that they had been wanted.
“Two weeks in the past the division outlined a brand new framework proposal to supply a listing of operators able to delivering this very important freight capability with out the federal government committing to any agreements at this stage, with market engagement