1. ITV Report

Contracts signed for ferry freight capacity in even of 'no-deal' Brexit

Felixstowe port, Harwich and Tilbury are among eight to be chosen. Credit: ITV News Anglia

New Government contracts have been signed with four ferry companies to provide freight capacity from three ports on the east coast in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Thirteen routes will operate from eight UK ports including Felixstowe, Harwich and Tilbury.

The deals worth more than 80 million pounds have been made to transport as many as 3,000 lorries a week for six months.

If a Brexit agreement is reached the deals will be cancelled at a cost of 11 million pounds to the taxpayer.

The Government says it's preparing for all outcomes.

The deals have been made with Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O and Stena Line to transport the 3,000 lorries.

"Our decisive action means freight operators will be ready and waiting to transport vital medicines into the country from the moment we leave."

– Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport

The four firms will operate on 13 routes from eight UK ports which are less likely to face disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

These are Teesport, Hull, Killingholme, Felixstowe, Harwich, Tilbury, Portsmouth and Poole.

The contracts were awarded to half of the eight companies selected to be on the Government's freight procurement framework due to their proven ability to manage major projects.

The system will be in place for four years from October 31.

"We have the flexibility in both our fleet and route network to allow us to help the UK Government with the shipment of critical products like medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In the last weeks, we have been working on a series of Brexit dry-runs, to ensure that freight keeps moving whatever framework we face on November 1.

These dry-runs have involved ports on both sides of the Channel, customs staff, border force and other partners. We are confident that we have made the necessary preparations for all our customers, including the Department for Transport, to ensure that freight keeps moving as seamlessly as possible."

– Brittany Ferries UK managing director John Napton