England’s strong comeback thanks to free ports

Posted on April 24, 2022


Most of the free zone will be located around the largest coastal cargo ports in England, including Felixstow, Liverpool, Hull, Southampton and the London Gateway. The area around Plymouth, Teesside and East Midlands Airport will also be designated.

Everything is moving very fast now in the United Kingdom, and England is on the front lines. Already eight English ports or airports are to become free ports under plans announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (Finance), who said his policy for controversial low-tax areas “will be an example of the economy’s future” and ” Unlock billions of investments”. Promotion of business and jobs.

development of free ports

The chancellor said discussions are ongoing with the devolved administration for other free ports in the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, although Scotland wants to introduce so-called green ports, while Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit status does not allow a similar freeport. can give Ideal.

Rishi Sunak talks about a “The scale has never been reached before”Creating special economic zones which he said had long been established internationally, even though freeports The initiative started by Thatcher was present in the UK until 2012.

The Freeport scheme has been championed by conservative politicians in the north of England, where it is seen as an important tool in the ‘rehabilitation’ programme.level up) to attract money and jobs to these disadvantaged areas.

Sunak unveiled his policy as the final climax of his budget speech, setting out his vision for the future from Teesside, in one of the new free ports of the day:

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“In the past, he was known for his success in industries like steel. Now as I look to Teesside’s future I see former industrial sites being used to capture and store carbon; Vaccines are produced; Offshore wind turbines generate clean energy. ,

He said that the free port “Fast growing, innovative companies will be hiring local people for good, well-paying, green jobs.”

Eight . full list of freeports English will include East Midlands Airport; Freeport East—with Felixstow Harwich; Humber – including Hull, Grimsby, Immingham and Goole; Liverpool City area; Plymouth and South Devon: Solent – including Southampton; Thames – Combination of the London Gateway and the Ports of Tilbury; and Teesside.

Each region includes a port or airport, as customs and tariff benefits are designed to allow the processing and re-export of raw materials more efficiently and at a lower cost, while legally using normal import duties. abstain from. However, areas may extend up to 25 miles (40 km) and add other areas to newly designated “fiscal sites”.

Spokesmen for the winning bidders, including Solent and Plymouth, said the news would provide massive investment and thousands of new jobs in their regions.

Teesside and Humber will also benefit from a Port Upgrade Fund to develop facilities for offshore wind. freeports Was “A great moment for building offshore wind turbines”,

Another proposal, the Treasury says would be subject to parliamentary approval, is that companies located in the zones will no longer pay National Insurance contributions to employees for potentially new jobs until 2031. The unions have said they are concerned about the plan. We envision from here the response of our CGT which, in fact, by its braking, has already reduced French port activity, rendering it insignificant internationally.

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legal issue of tax breaks

Some critics have questioned whether the tax breaks could potentially be seen as illegal state aid and violations of trade agreements, including the EU and cooperation agreements signed in December.

Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer incidentally felt that the priority should be to make life easier for companies doing business with the EU and not be affected by new post-Brexit trade rules:

, Rather than blindly relying on Freeport, the chancellor better make sure the government’s Brexit deal works for building a UK that faces more bureaucracy, and for our financial services. ,

They don’t stop each other.

Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association, warned the underprivileged coastal cities that did not make the cut, “would be lost” following this policy. A study conducted in the United Kingdom as part of a think tank Europe is changing Concluded that Freeport does not offer a magic bullet for economic transformation.

Yet Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is betting that the hubs will attract innovation and investment, aided by lower customs duties and tax burdens, to raise the bar. Other benefits include simplified planning rules and access to infrastructure financing.

Businesses located in Freeport will benefit from tax relief, which includes no stamp duty (tax), full refunds for investments in construction and machinery, five years of zero rates for businesses, and reduced tariff and customs obligations.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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