Taxpayer on the hook as UK scraps Brexit ferry contracts

LONDON (AP) — The British government is scrapping much-criticized Brexit contracts with ferry companies, at a substantial cost to taxpayers.

The Department for Transport says “freight capacity contracts for the summer period are no longer needed and have therefore been terminated.”

The contracts came under fire earlier this year when it emerged that one firm involved had no ships and no experience running a ferry service.

The department said Wednesday that the cost of canceling the deals is a bit lower than the 56 million-pound (3 million) estimate given by auditors.

The ferries were part of planning for a “no-deal” Brexit in which Britain leaves the European Union without an agreement on divorce terms and future ties.

No-deal planning was put on hold after Brexit was postponed until Oct. 31.