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Bitter dispute over cruise ships

A major row between the Port of Southampton & its Liverpool rival continues, over the 'legality' of the northern city's entrance to the 'turnaround' cruise market. Liverpool welcomes its second ship later amid a bitter dispute over public subsidies.

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Port plans could lead to penalty

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."

– Mike Penning MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport.

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.”

– Labour MP for Southampton Itchen

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