Of Course Brexit Delay Would Cause Ferry Contracts To Cost More

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That we’re leaving the European Union does not mean that we have to entirely put reason and logic aside. The complaint today is that if we change the date of Brexit then those contingency ferry contracts might cost us more. Well, yes, obviously so. As anyone who thought for more than 5 seconds – or wasn’t a federast but I repeat myself – would conclude. The clue being in why we’ve got these contracts. We face uncertainty. And if we’re uncertain about the time when we’ll face that uncertainty then the uncertainty is greater, d’ye see?

Thus the payment for dealing with the uncertainty will rise:

Brexit delay could cost millions in extra payments to ferry firms
Estimated extra cost of £28m will be fresh blow to transport secretary Chris Grayling

Not that anyone gives a stuffed and roasted cucumber for the effects of anything upon the career of Chris Grayling. But this is hardly a surprise, is it?

Brittany Ferries was awarded a £46.6m contract and DFDS a £42.1m to ship emergency supplies – including medicine – in event of a no-deal Brexit. If the contracts are amended to provide the service at a later date, the UK would have to pay around £28m. If they are cancelled all together, both companies are owed an estimated £56.6m.

Think on how contracts work. We think we might need extra ferry capacity around March 29 2019. Hmm, OK Guv, here’s your price.

Ah, but we’re not really certain, could be April 29th, could be November 2020. Hmm, well, bit difficult Guv but here’s the prices for those alternatives.

And do note, if we’ve got to get everything ready, like in this ‘ere contract, for March 29 2019 then that’s the price for just being ready, right?

So, how else does anyone think contracts work? Anyone ever planned a wedding? You’ve got to pay for the catering whether the bride actually turns up at the church or not, right?

Of course the increased uncertainty over Brexit costs more money. That’s what we’re paying for, being able to cover the uncertainty.

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Pat
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Pat

Amongst the published preparations for a no deal Brexit are the provisions for dredging the approaches to Ramsgate and arrangements for extra ferry capacity. Presumably someone thinks that a no deal Brexit will result in a sudden increase in cross channel trade.
Highly desirable of course, but not what conventional wisdom would suggest.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

The ‘argument’ (I use the term loosely) is that after a clean Brexit, gazillions of new customs checks will be required at Dover (because: reasons), reducing the port to a grinding halt. In order to ensure the availability of vital goods (such as medicines) an alternative to Dover would be needed, which is where Ramsgate would come in.

Pat
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Pat

‘re Ramsgate I’ve heard that argument, and take it as seriously as you appear to.
But what are the extra ferries for? If the government plans to gum up Dover on exit, why only for a few months. Either permanently or not at all would seem the logical way to go.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Even assuming there was serious disruption to cross-Channel supply routes in the event of a clean Brexit, it would be certain to be resolved after a few months, when everyone had had time to adjust to the new situation.