LONDON: Britain’s transport minister was under fresh pressure to resign after the government stacked up a 50-million-pound ($65 million) loss for cancelling contracts to charter extra ferries to bring in essential supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The decision to award the contracts has been a major political embarrassment after it emerged the government handed out a 14-million-pound contract for extra ferries to a company that owned no ferries and published terms and conditions on its website that appeared to be for a takeaway food business. Then, the government was forced to pay a further 33 million pounds to settle a lawsuit brought by Eurotunnel, which complained that it was unfairly prevented from bidding on the ferry contracts, which were negotiated in secret. The botched handling of the contracts led Transport Minister Chris Grayling to be nicknamed “failing Grayling” by local newspapers. The contracts were originally awarded four months ago.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2019.