Eddie Mair 4pm - 6pm
James O'Brien On The Brexit Ferry Contract Awarded To Company With No Ferries
2 January 2019, 12:04
This is James O'Brien's comical reaction to the government's decision to award a contract to run ferries in the event of a no-deal Brexit to a company who don't have any ferries.
Seaborne Freight, won a £13.8m contract to run a freight service between Ramsgate and Ostend, despite having no boats and having not run a ferry service before.
Describing the decision as "Brexit in a nutshell", James O'Brien said: "Chris Grayling completely ignored warnings from the Dover Port Authorities, and indeed this programme - they have been telling us for two years what was going to happen in Dover in the event of any form of Brexit that didn't involve Customs Union and/or Single Market membership.
"But they choose to ignore all of that. Chris Grayling got presented with a completely unforeseeable scenario (unless you actually listened to anybody who knew what they were talking about or paid attention to the adverts taken out at your own party's conference last year).
"He's in a meeting a couple of weeks ago. It's explained to him we've given £100m to a Danish company and a French company."
James then imagined how the decision must have been made:
Grayling: "The Brexiters aren't going to like it are they? We need to find a British company to give some money to. Seaborne Freight. Are they British?"
Civil servant: "Yes, but they don't have any boats."
Grayling: "I don't care if they have any boats or not, are they British?"
Civil servant: "Yes, they're British."
Grayling: "Give them £14m and give it to them now. The £100m that we've given to the Danish and French firms, they can do all the boat-based business, we'll get this lot without any boats to fly the flag. Do they have any flags?"
Watch his monologue in full at the top of the page.