Drew Hendry warns of precedent set by Seaborne Freight contract – The National

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Drew Hendry warns of precedent set by Seaborne Freight contract – The National
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has faced calls to resign over the move

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has faced calls to resign over the move

AN SNP MP has warned of the precedent that could be set by the awarding of a £14 million contract to a ferry firm with no ships and apparent large debt.

In the Commons, the party’s transport spokesman Drew Hendry asked what example had been set by the decision to give Seaborne Freight a ferry contract in case of a no-deal Brexit scenario. 

READ MORE: Tory Chris Grayling under fire for £14m no-deal Brexit ferry deal

The MP pointed out the company had “negative assets of nearly £400,000” and “terms and conditions copied from a takeaway”.

He continued: “Will all UK businesses see such largesse from the Government over procurement contracts?

“One of the directors of Seaborne ran a company which went into liquidation owing HMRC nearly £600,000 using EBT [Employee Benefit Trust] tax avoidance schemes.

“According to the director, the Government didn’t even consider the money owed to HMRC as relevant – is that a sign of a Government out of control on Brexit?”

The National:

But UK Business Secretary Greg Clark (pictured above) defended the Government’s move, claiming the contract’s £14m would not need to be paid if a no-deal Brexit was avoided, as the firm’s services would not be needed.

READ MORE: Port warns it will not be ready for a no-deal Brexit

Clark added it was “prudent and responsible” for the Government to prepare ahead of a no-deal situation, and he hoped the opposition would “take the opportunity to obviate the need for those contingencies”.

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