Shipping Minister Mike Penning has written to John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, to confirm that Liverpool City Council may have to pay a financial penalty for commencing it's port turnaround operations too early.
The fact that Liverpool City Council has now pre-empted the Commission and commenced turnaround before a State Aids decision has been made does leave it open, in the event of a finding of unlawful Aid, to the possibility of financial penalties, including repayment of grants from the European Regional Development Fund. This is however a matter for the Commission."
I welcome the Minister's confirmation that Liverpool do not have permission to start cruises and may have to pay a penalty. But the Minister should be stepping in himself, not leaving it to Brussels to take action.”