The government announced its freeport consultation a few minutes ago. This is what the website says on this exercise:
The government is working to boost economic activity across the UK, ensuring that towns, cities and regions across the country can begin to benefit from the opportunities of leaving the EU. As part of this work, the government aims to create up to 10 freeports in locations across the UK.
The government wants to establish freeports, which have different customs rules than the rest of the country, that are innovative hubs, boost global trade, attract inward investment and increase productivity. In doing so, the government wants freeports to generate employment opportunities to the benefit of some of our most deprived communities around the UK.
The government has the following objectives for UK freeports:
- establish freeports as national hubs for global trade and investment across the UK
- promote regeneration and job creation
- create hotbeds for innovation
The government has drawn on evidence from successful freeports around the world to develop a UK freeport model. The proposed model includes tariff flexibility, customs facilitations and tax measures. We are also considering planning reforms, additional targeted funding for infrastructure improvements and measures to incentivise innovation.
To support this work, we are running a formal consultation to understand your thoughts on the UK’s plans for freeports. We aim to feed your views into the policy development process.
We want all the nations of the UK to be able to share in the benefits of freeports. We intend to work with devolved administrations to develop proposals to allow freeports to be created in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in addition to those in England.
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The consultation document is here. I guarantee that I will be submitting. The supposed claims make no sense at all. Freeports are onshore tax havens. And they should have no place in the UK economy.
I would encourage others to do so.
I will be commenting again on this issue to assist those who want to add comment.