Craig calls on Prime Minister to “indemnify Thanet District Council for costs” after axing of Seaborne contract

Craig Mackinlay MP has called on the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to ensure local taxpayers in Thanet are not disadvantaged by preparations to keep Ramsgate Port open for Brexit eventualities.

The South Thanet MP made the plea days after the contingent £13.8m contract with Seaborne Freight to provide a ferry service between Ramsgate Port in Kent and Ostend in Belgium was terminated.

Craig also reminded the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, that it is he who speaks for South Thanet after the Labour Leader also chose to raise Seaborne and Ramsgate Port at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Referring to Mr Corbyn’s questioning of Mrs May earlier in the session, Craig said that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” before receiving an assurance from the Prime Minister that the Department for Transport - who are currently in discussions with Thanet Council - are “looking into” his concerns about costs.

Craig Mackinlay MP commented:

“I’ve always considered the likelihood of delay at the Dover-Calais crossing to be remote no matter what the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

CM at PMQs 13 Feb19.jpg

“Regional representatives from the Pas de Calais share my view because international law governing cross-border trade protects the crossing.

“I know the Department for Transport is already in talks with a number of companies to secure additional freight capacity and Ramsgate will remain at a state of readiness under any outcome.

“Thanet will do what’s in the national interest to assist with Brexit preparedness; we’ll be proud to do so, but it’s wrong to expect Thanet taxpayers to pay for it.

“I’ll continue to stand up for South Thanet and have pointed out forcefully to the government that local taxpayers must not be financially disadvantaged by national Brexit preparations undertaken locally.”