It was announced this week that the Department of Transport is to cancel all the no deal contracts it had in place with ferry companies. This will cost the taxpayers £50million. This comes on top of the £33million that the Department had to settle with Eurotunnel as it did not undertake due process when drafting these, now cancelled, contracts.
I asked the Minister if she could assure us that these ferry companies wouldn’t get double bubble in the event of a no deal Brexit in October. This is because the UK Government is still adamant that this could be an outcome for Brexit – despite Parliament voting it down on multiple occasions.
The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, has cost the taxpayers £2.7billion whilst in Government. It is time for him to go and stop wasting our money.
The bungling of the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, in securing a ferry contract in the event of a no deal Brexit has costed taxpayers £33million in legal fees.
As the UK Government have continued to provide no clear answers on the impact of awarding a ferry contract to a company without any boats I asked the Brexit Minister what other costs have been discovered. Additional costs may now occur because many of the contracts were drawn up with the 29 March date and not the new 12 April date.
Yet again I received no clear answer and instead received a comment that there is simply nothing to see here. I won’t stop pressing for complete transparency on how our money is spent.
Following the Secretary of State for Health’s response to my question, I raised my serious concerns that the Minister wasn’t fully briefed on the Urgent Question and was giving inaccurate information in response to questions. I would not let the wasting of £33million of taxpayers money rest with no proper answer.
The Health Secretary decided to respond to my point of order and floundered at the Dispatch Box. The real Secretary of State for Transport should have been answering questions, not a minister with no involvement in this area.
The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, has just had to settle a court dispute with the Channel Tunnel company as he did not fulfil his legal duties when signing the doomed contract with Seaborne Freight – the ferry company with no ferries.
Labour secured an urgent question to pull the Secretary of State before the House to answer why he has cost taxpayers £33million. What we got instead was the Secretary of State for Health. Yes, the minister responsible for the NHS in England was answering questions on a failing by the minister responsible for ferries. In other words, the Secretary of State for Transport was running away from his mistakes.
I asked the Minister if at any point the Secretary of State was informed that his decision could lead to a legal challenge from the Channel Tunnel company. No answer was forthcoming.
Wasting public funds in such a reckless way is shameful and the Secretary of State should do the right thing and resign.