Published: 17:49, 11 February 2019
| Updated: 21:16, 11 February 2019
A government takeover of a port in Kent in the run-up to and after Brexit has not been ruled out by the transport secretary of state Chris Grayling.
Mr Grayling was asked if there was anything in the way of the Department for Transport stepping in and running Ramsgate port by North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale.
The minister, who was fending off hostile questions from opposition parties in the Commons about the demise of the contract with the company Seaborne Freight, said: “I have been very clear that I think that the resilience work being carried out in Kent to prepare for a 'no-deal' Brexit includes Ramsgate port and I have also been very clear that we have to be mindful of the financial position of Thanet council and we must make sure that they are not exposed to the broader financial risk of the broader resilience work being done right across Kent.”
Sir Roger told the Commons that there was no reason why the government should not step in and run the port.
He said that given the precedent of the government taking over Manston there was no reason why the same should not happen at the port.
Manston is to be used as an emergency lorry park as part of Operation Brock - the government’s package of measures designed to stop the county becoming gridlocked.
However, the minister also faced hostile questions over the collapse of the Seaborne Freight contract with several opposition calls for him to quit over the debacle.
The original move has lead to Eurotunnel starting a legal challenge against the Department for Transport.