UK minister defends giving Brexit ferry contract to company with no ships

© Reuters. Britain's Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling arrives in Downing Street, London© Reuters. Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling arrives in Downing Street, London

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s transport minister Chris Grayling has defended the decision to award a 14 million pound ($17.8 million) contract for shipping goods after Brexit to a new ferry company that has yet to secure any vessels.

The transport department announced last week that it had awarded contracts to three companies to carry vital supplies into the United Kingdom if it left the European Union without a deal in March.

The smallest contract was won by Seaborne Freight, a British business that has never operated a ferry route.

“I make no apologies for supporting a new British business,” Grayling told BBC radio on Wednesday. “We have looked very carefully at this business. We have put in place a tight contract to make sure they can deliver for us.”

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