127 jobs will be lost in Dover as a result, as well as 880 jobs in France.

Last week President Sarkozy claimed that it was “his duty” to save Seafrance – but due to the court’s ruling the government will not be allowed to bail out the company, a move which was to cost £170 million, and plans for a co-operative run by the workers has also been quashed.

Workers gathered outide the Paris courtroom to hear the decision, and set alight to flares when the liquidation announcement was made.

The ferry company carried over 3.5 million passengers every year on its route from Dover to Calais. Rival company Eurotunnel may be considering a bid to buy the firm, according to some reports.