Free trade zones: Part of the UK’s post Brexit international trade strategy

Tempo de leitura: 1 minuto

Following Brexit the UK is likely to be disadvantaged in seeking inward investment into Europe by a reduction in its access to the Single Market. To address this disadvantage the government could consider using FTZs to attract foreign investors. The EU has permitted such zones to be set up for regional development purposes in a number of locations including Shannon and Katowice. Following withdrawal from the Single Market the UK would suffer at least a short term disruption to its trade patterns and inward investment and should therefore argue that FTZs are a legitimate means of promoting regional development.

The EU has already indicated that it would not want to see a weakening of the state aid provisions in the UK.

It is not unreasonable of the EU to seek to prevent the creation of an offshore tax haven. The use of FTZs, if applied on a proportionate scale, with the sole intention of maintaining the current position in respect of pre and post Brexit inward investment decisions, could not be regarded as the creation of such a tex haven.

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