Unite has reiterated its call for transport secretary Chris Grayling to resign after it was revealed today (March 1) that the government has had to pay £33m to Eurotunnel after excluding the company from its ‘no deal’ Brexit planning.
The decision to exclude Eurotunnel has left workers at the company, which provides the fastest and only permanent connection to the continent and which moves millions of tonnes of freight every year, fearing for their jobs.
Unite’s 350 strong membership at Eurotunnel, are worried that the government’s awarding of contracts to ferry companies will be used to entice customers away from Eurotunnel.
As UniteLive reported in January, it emerged that the government awarded contracts worth £103m to ferry companies Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Seaborne Freight to run additional services in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Infamously, Seaborne Freight was awarded its contract despite having no ships and no usable harbour at Ramsgate.
Commenting on today’s news of the Eurotunnel settlement, Unite national officer for the rail industry Harish Patel said, “The only person who still has confidence in Chris Grayling appears to be prime minister Theresa May.
“His Brexit planning has been nothing short of disastrous and yet again he is costing the taxpayer millions because of his disastrous policies,” he added.
“Our members still haven’t had a sensible answer as to why Eurotunnel was excluded from Grayling’s Brexit planning. The feeling is that he simply forgot it was there.
“The only way to restore confidence in the Brexit transport planning process is for Grayling to put out of his misery by resigning or being sacked.”