The Chancellor kept a promise made in the Conservative Party’s 2019 Manifesto, revealing that East Midlands, Felixstowe and Harwich airports, the Humber region, the Liverpool, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside airports will become to free ports

A free port is a zone designated by a government with certain allowances to stimulate the economy

The free port model allows companies to import goods duty free and only pay when they are sold on the domestic market, or to export the final goods without paying UK duties

They were created to stimulate economic activity in an area. Companies may be more inclined to open in those areas, which in turn creates more jobs

Free ports have been around for centuries, including the UK: Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Liverpool and Southampton have all been free ports in the past

There is still a free port on the Isle of Man, and in Europe Copenhagen in Denmark and Bremen in Germany are free ports

Mr. Sunak said the “Special Economic Zones with Different Rules to Make Doing Business Easier and Cheaper” would come with easier planning, cheaper tariffs and lower taxes, with “tax breaks to encourage construction, private investment and creation Jobs “

Plymouth City Council Labor leader Tudor Evans tweeted that free port status could bring thousands of jobs to the city and invest more than £ 100 million in investments

Further announcements of free ports within the decentralized administrations are still expected, with the manifesto committing to creating a total of 10 in the UK

Today’s announcement comes weeks before the municipal and mayoral elections The Tories plan to hold onto Tees Valley mayor’s office in May, which is currently held by Ben Houchen

Before the 2019 parliamentary elections, the Tories had the idea of ​​using free ports to boost international trade

It would have been more difficult for the UK to set up free ports under EU law, especially if the tax benefits had gone too far

However, there are currently 82 free ports within the EU, so their creation would not have been impossible even without Brexit

Secretary General Frances O’Grady said: “Free ports don’t create jobs – and around the world they allow freeloading employers to dodge taxes”

Mike Childs, Political Director for Friends of the Earth, also criticized the plan for lack of environmental commitments

What is a free port?

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