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The Prime Minister announced plans to create 10 so-called ‘free ports’ across the UK. Free ports are an area of a country where taxes and tariffs do not apply, which means traders can import goods, store them and re-export them without bothering the tax collectors. Boris Johnson previously called Free Ports an “excellent way to boost business and trade”.
Mayor of Tees Valley Ben Houchen has been campaigning for this style of trading as he says it will help create more than 70,000 jobs for Teesside after Britain leaves the EU on October 31 – without the interference of the EU.
The jobs are especially needed as employment has dropped since the SSI steelworks site closed in 2015.
He said: “Free Ports have the potential to turbocharge our regional economy after Brexit, bringing desperately-needed jobs, growth and investment here and making us a magnet for even more international investment.
“This is a game changing opportunity to reshore manufacturing jobs we haven’t seen in this country for decades to the former Redcar steelworks site.
“As we leave the EU and reclaim our place as an open, outward-looking trading nation once more, a Free Port would be beyond transformational for our region, helping us build our current strengths in chemical processing, energy and logistics industries.”
Jerry Hopkinson, chief operating officer of PD Ports, agreed Teesside will “reap the benefits” from the free port concept.
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He told Gazette Live: “We’ve got a river which is one of the deepest in the UK.
“It’s got a huge amount of surplus capacity on it and we’re handling about 30m tonnes a year on the River Tees. We believe we can handle way in excess of that.
The Prime Minister announced plans to create 10 so-called ‘free ports’ across the UK. Free ports are an area of a country where taxes and tariffs do not apply, which means traders can import goods, store them and re-export them without bothering the tax collectors.