Sea battle on horizon for Johnson in wake of no-deal ferry contract row

A Brexit-related High Court battle is on the distant horizon for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

P&O Ferries sued the Department for Transport after ministers in March agreed a £33 million payment to Eurotunnel as part of a settlement in another case.

Bosses say the settlement constitutes “unlawful interference” in a competitive market.

Transport ministers dispute P&O’s claim.

A judge on Monday said a trial would start at the High Court in London on November 16 2020.

Chris Grayling
Chris Grayling awarded more than £100 million in contracts to three ferry companies as part of plans for a no-deal Brexit (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Mr Justice Fraser set a date while analysing a number of legal issues at a preliminary hearing in London.

The trial is expected to last more than two weeks.

Eurotunnel had taken legal action after then Transport Secretary Chris Grayling awarded more than £100 million in contracts to three ferry companies as part of plans for a no-deal Brexit.

The contracts, which were subsequently cancelled, attracted widespread criticism in the wake of reports that one company, Seaborne Freight, had been awarded a £13.8 million contract to run services between Ramsgate, Kent, and Ostend, Belgium, despite having no ships.

Bosses at Eurotunnel had complained about the procurement process for those contracts.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS