Labour MSP Colin Smyth joined the latest blockade at the P&O Cairnryan terminal on June 6, which was organised by the RMT union to protest the ferry firm’s sacking of dozens of workers at the port.

The issues with P&O stem back to March when they dismissed 800 total members of staff across Dover, Liverpool, Kingston upon Hull and Cairnryan.

This protest came as it was reported that the bid to create a green freeport at Cairnryan is to be dropped.

Dumfries and Galloway Council has decided P&O has no place in its plans and a report to councillors has advised the council to shelve its bid.

The council report said the loss of P&O and its expertise in the field had played a part in the recommendation to drop the scheme. The limited site area and the short timeframe to develop the bid were also cited as factors. Councillors will consider the report on Tuesday 14 June.

Colin, who is a member of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT), said: “The news that plans for a freeport at Cairnryan look set to be shelved is very disappointing and is another direct effect of the scandalous actions of P&O.

“While the council also cited other reasons for the bid to be shelved, it’s clear that P&O’s behaviour has played a major role.

“I joined the latest blockade at P&O on Monday and I am once again urging local people to support the sacked P&O workers.

“We must show P&O bosses that we won’t let this go. Even if our Governments have given up the fight, I know workers haven’t.

“Without stronger action from the UK Government, P&O will be let off the hook. That will be devastating for those loyal workers kicked out of their jobs.We can’t let that happen.”