Freeports consultation: boosting trade, jobs and investment across the UK

Tempo de leitura: 2 minutos

In the Ancient World, Greek and Roman ships – piled high with traders’ wines and olive oils – found safe harbour in the free port of Delos, a small Greek island in the waters of the Aegean. Offering respite from import taxes in the hope of attracting the patronage of merchants, the Delosian model of a ‘free port’ has rarely been out of use since.

Because freeports still offer that same story of trade and prosperity across the modern world. From the UAE to the USA, China to California, global freeports support jobs, trade and investment. They serve as humming hubs of high-quality manufacturing, titans of trans-shipment and warehouses for wealth-creating goods and services. The UK will recreate the best aspects of international freeports in the brand-new, best-in-class, bespoke model set out in the following pages.

We want freeports to boost trade, jobs and investment. That’s why we’re cutting red tape by streamlining customs processes, exploring the use of planning measures to speed up planning processes and accelerate development and housing delivery in and around freeports, and consulting on a comprehensive set of tax breaks to support businesses.

We want freeports to act as hotbeds of innovation in order to form innovative business clusters that benefit the local area. That’s why we’re also looking at regulatory flexibilities, funding and challenges which will support innovators generating new ideas.

Most importantly, freeports will be a cornerstone of the government’s plan to level up opportunity across the country. So our criteria for allocating freeports will be geared towards areas of greatest need. This will allow us to drive forward investment and regeneration in some of the most deprived areas in the UK, delivering highly-skilled jobs for people across the country.

The Prime Minister made freeports one of the centrepieces of his recent election campaign because they capture the essence of this government’s ambition. Not afraid of globalisation, but always making sure it works for our less affluent communities. Setting our own trading arrangements in a way that works for all parts of our nation. Out of the EU and into the world.

Now we want to hear from you: from the businesses, ports and communities that make this nation great. How will these proposals help you? What else are you interested in? Come and let us know. We have just turned the page on a great new chapter for this country. Freeports will let us sail onto our next, great, prosperous destination.

RT HON RISHI SUNAK MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury

RT HON ELIZABETH TRUSS MP Secretary of State for International Trade

RT HON ROBERT JENRICK MP Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

RT HON GRANT SHAPPS MP Secretary of State for Transport

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