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A controversial no-deal Brexit ferry contract awarded to a firm with no ships has been cancelled by the Department for Transport after an Irish shipping firm that had been secretly backing the deal pulled out.

The decision by the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, to award Seaborne Freight a contract worth £13.8m had attracted widespread criticism and ridicule.

It was one of three firms awarded contracts totalling £108m in late December to lay on additional crossings from Ramsgate to ease the pressure on Dover when Britain leaves the EU, despite the company having never run a Channel service.

Via Guardian