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  1. ITV Report

RMT union protest over how ferry ports at Dover are run post-Brexit

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A protest has been held outside the Department for Transport, pressing for guarantees that new ferry services will be properly run after Brexit.

The RMT union wants services aimed at easing pressure at Dover to be crewed by UK companies. Contracts have been awarded to 3 firms including Seaborne Freight but they have never run a Channel service.

Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse has the report:

A protest was held outside the Department for Transport's head office to press for guarantees that new ferry services aimed at easing pressure on Dover after Brexit will be crewed by UK seafarers.

Contracts worth more than £100 million have been awarded to three firms to lay on additional crossings, including Seaborne Freight, even though the company has never run a Channel service.

Seaborne Freight has never run a Channel service Credit: ITV Meridian

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) demonstrated in London calling for the ferries to comply with UK employment law and to be fully crewed with UK ratings.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "These are UK Government ferry contracts and the Government would be quite within their rights to insist they are protected by UK employment law and crewed with UK seafarers."

Seaborne's deal to run freight services from Ramsgate has been questioned as the company has never run a ferry service and does not own any ships.

The company has been criticised for using terms and conditions on its website apparently intended for a takeaway food firm.