The government is going for freeports – without any legislative basis for doing so, and despite the fact that they’re known to be hubs for illegal activity

Posted on

Earlier this year Rishi Sunak undertook a consultation on freeports. I submitted extensive evidence. So did others. I could not see an objective observer who could see any reason for freeports. But in October the government said it was going to push ahead.

Today the government has announced that bidding to run freeports is open.

I tweeted this in response:

How, I wonder, can you bid for something that has not been legislated for as yet? Isn't that ultra vires spending, and potential contracting, by the government? How can it do this?

I then added this:

Could there be a more candid admission that these places attract criminality? I doubt it. But they're going ahead, coupled with 'light touch' regulation (call it 'turning a blind eye') nonetheless.

So we have a government acting without legislative back up to contract for arrangements so far not legal that are known to be hubs for illegal activity.

You really could not make it up.

PS And not a mask in sight