Charter ships an option for food supplies post-Brexit

Posted: 25 October 2018 | | No comments yet

Cabinet considering transportation scenarios in event of no deal.

The Financial Times has reported that the Cabinet is looking at alternative plans if post-Brexit customs controls cause problems on the Dover-Calais route. These including bringing in food via charter ships.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling reportedly discussed the possibility of hiring entire ships, or securing cargo space in vessels, to bring food, medicines and other supplies in through alternative ports. David Lidington, the cabinet office minister, told his colleagues the Dover-Calais route might only run at 12- 25 per cent of its capacity for up to six months under a no-deal scenario,

When asked about the claims, a Department for Transport spokesman told the Financial Times: “We remain confident of reaching an agreement with the EU, but it is only sensible for government and industry to prepare for a range of scenarios.

“We are continuing to work closely with partners on contingency plans to ensure that trade can continue to move as freely as possible between the UK and Europe.”

In May of this year, the report Brexit: food prices and availability was published by the Lords Sub-Committee on EU Energy and Environment. The committee urged the Government to publish exactly what customs and border requirements it would put in place on EU food imports in a no-deal scenario. It also reiterated widely-voiced concerns that Britain’s new global trading relationships would cause a surge in food prices or a slump in standards. 

Richard Christian, the Port of Dover’s head of policy, was reported in June of this year as saying there would be “regular gridlock” in Kent in the event of a hard Brexit, and disruption to freight traffic on ferries and Eurotunnel services would have a profound impact on Britain’s economy.




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