Freeports and growth

Today the government’s extended consultation on Freeport’s closes. It is time to press on with this excellent idea to boost investment growth and trade.

The old idea of a Freeport was a limited land area around a seaport where planning controls were relaxed to encourage and allow value added processing of imports for their re export as finished goods. There could also be tax incentives to boost activity further.

Today we should be thinking of the virtual Freeport spreading out further from a seaport or airport to create an economic zone or area dedicated to manufacturing and adding value added through services to foster exports tax free. The free port zone could also be a place to manufacture or add value to goods and services for the home market, where any tax and regulatory compliance took place at the time of completion and transport to market.

I would like these wider zones to offer a five year business rates holiday, entrepreneur’s relief from CGT, no Stamp duties and of course no VAT or tariffs on anything for re export. We need these industrial development zones in all parts of the country, so let’s press ahead with 10 straight away with good geographical coverage.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning,

    Free ports do indeed seem a good idea. But where ?

    I hope the government concentrates on the North an North East of England who gave seen great economic decline as manufacturing has moved abroad. There is an urgent and long outstanding need to rebalance the economy in England and take the pressure off London and the South East. Also the West of England needs much rejuvenation.

    I miss out the others as they have devolved governments and grants from England, so I see no need for us to include them.

    • boffin
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Where? Well, for a start:

      – Fiddlers Ferry. Huge base load power station, now being demolished; very good transport infrastructure already in place.

      – Upper Heyford. Major former NATO air base, now largely going to waste;

      • Hope
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Free ports… Fake Tory govt cannot provide basic education at this time! Tossers the lot of them.

      • L Taylor
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        I would also suggest Manston Airport. For years this airport has been struggling to survive. The local council flogged it off to some (people ed) who thought they could turn it into lucrative housing for London councils …………… In an area with existing high unemployment this was outrageous. An American company has finally acquired the site with the intention of turning it into an air freight hub. The govdernmdent has approved planning to restore the site as a cargo hub. This is an ideal location for a freeport with close proximity to Dover and the Channel Tunnel. Road links after years of under investment are now much improved with dual carriageway to the M2 it could be a golden opportunity for an area that has more in common with Northern towns than most of the South East.

    • NickC
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Mark B, I am less in favour of Freeports. I prefer across the board tax and regulation simplification, including tax reductions or eliminations, instead. I loathe the “jump through hoops for a free packet of biscuits” mentality. It is used by supermarkets to entice a full shop; and by bureaucrats to keep themselves in a job.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      I would offer one or two to Scotland. If they’re a success, it’s a kick for the SNP. And if Sturgeon declines, and they’re a success in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it’s a kick for the SNP.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Can we move on from the Northern Powerhouse and the HS2? As we are leaving the EU we do not need to build their rail network, do we? What was the Northern Powerhouse, by the way?

      • NickC
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Forthurst, HS2 ain’t gonna help the North, or the Midlands.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          At last we agree.

          However, it is not “the European Union’s network” as Forthurst called it. The pan-European – entirely voluntary – strategy is a multinational project including many non members.

          And we have already left the European Union. Farage and the rest of his wasters got their helpful shoves.

          • NickC
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

            Martin, We have not left the EU. The EU still controls us via the WA treaty in almost the same way as the TEU and TFEU.

  2. Stred
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    The government could also move the digital services industry home if they created a virtual freeport where companies could register and pay taxes instead of having to travel abroad every year and pay lower taxes with less administration costs to foreign countries. There are thousands of workers who operate in Europe with its central time zone but pay taxes abroad because they can’t compete with other places where HMRC can’t ruin the process.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I am in favour or anything that reduces taxes, misguided red tape, reduces the hassle and risks of employing people and the very many other obstacles to business government creates. But why just in certain zones? Do this everywhere.

    So Boris and PHE wants people to slim down a bit and lots of taxpayers money is used in this direction and yet Sunak wants to use taxpayers’ money so many can eat out more on subsidised burgers and pizzas and perhaps then afford a few beers and a bottle of wine to go with it. Perhaps they should decide which one they want.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      “Sunak wants to use taxpayers’ money so many can eat out more on subsidised burgers”

      No – he didn’t say that. Why do you make things up to post here ?.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        I did not say he “said” that. But that is what he did!

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      If everyone were healthy (and here I must blow my own trumpet and say I have lost over a stone during ‘lockdown’ – my weight having gone up and down like a yo-yo all my adult life) and, for example, drank less, ate out less, less take-aways etc. – and more people worked from home too – then a lot of businesses are going to go broke. I am in the fortunate position of living in a nice place. I know of many places whose high streets are basically a long row of take-aways selling food you could not pay me to eat. But a significant proportion of the population live in those areas and, let’s face it, eat crap a lot of the time. What’s my point? Hmmm, something along the lines of society is going to have to change, a lot, at some point. And that point may well be now.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      It is not difficult to see why Chancellor Sunak got the job 😉

    • steve
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink


      “So Boris and PHE wants people to slim down a bit and lots of taxpayers money is used in this direction and yet Sunak wants to use taxpayers’ money so many can eat out more on subsidised burgers and pizzas”

      Hardly inspires confidence does it ?

      With Covid 19 on the downward trend and lockdown restrictions easing off, Boris now says we should be forced to wear face nappies in shops, and gov’t is to formally announce tomorrow.

      If we are to be humiliated in this way, I shall not only blame Alexander DePfeffel but Nichola Sturgeon also, and will not be voting Conservative ever again.

      Rapidly losing confidence in the Conservatives, just one more thing and they sure as hell don’t get my vote.

      Either lockdown didn’t work and they’ve been lying with the numbers, or they should have made face masks compulsory in the first place, or the virus wasn’t anywhere near as bad as they made out.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        They’ve just been waiting for the stocks to arrive Steve, personally my husband and I have no problem wearing a mask if we are to come within 1m of other people.

        However, I’ll be happier when the government finally own up to wear this virus is still coming into the UK from! Because it’s not homegrown we’re importing it.

    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    These are hardly new ideas but then creating an environment in which the private sector is allowed to thrive without microscopic intervention from the leeching political State is an idea that died in 1997.

    Now, the private sector is deemed to be little more than a provider of tax revenues to the bottomless cesspit that is public sector fecklessness

    Reform and tax cuts is what any intelligent, brave and principled leader would introduce with a huge bazooka aimed directly at one target in isolation, Labour’s monster parasitic political State. So what does this PM do? He does the opposite

    Johnson’s just another anti-libertarian, woke bore with the spine of jelly who encourages clapping, woke cowardice and another hefty dose of progressive authoritarianism delivered by Labour’s BLM loving Marxist infested sub-State

    It almost defies belief that proper Tory backbench MPs can even show their face knowing what they know.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      “Now, the private sector is deemed to be little more than a provider of tax revenues to the bottomless cesspit that is public sector fecklessness”

      I agree and the public sector just do not appreciate how much every extra benefit is actually worth to them on an annual basis:

      1) just take into account the extra holidays over 28, you need duplicate staff just to cover extra holidays this has a massive cost on the business, or are the public sector so overstaffed they don’t miss people when they’re not in work? One weeks holiday costs a business 10 days wage cost plus employer’s NI, plus at least another one days holiday for the replacement worker.

      2) The full sick pay for six months and half sick pay for another six months, how much would a self-employed person or private sector large organisation have to pay in insurance per worker per year to pay for this extra insurance.

      3) You couldn’t buy their pension in the private sector without the employer putting away more than 25% of their gross pay each year.

      4) Enhanced redundancy, moving fees and many others such as ‘working’ from home if they have the plumber coming.

      We all have to pay for these costs and they’re still moaning they’re on poor money. I told all of my children forget small business I didn’t want any of them self-employed but one has no choice.

  5. Richard1
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Fully agreed. It’s essential the govt moves quickly to demonstrate how the Country can take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit. As with every policy there will be pros and cons to Brexit. Freeports are a no-brainer.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Yes, agree your sentiment 100%, get moving now.

      Perhaps ‘Freeport’ is not correct, Enterprise Zone sounds better and suggests broader encouragement for start-ups and new technology/biology industries. Should aim at the universities, to establish their spin-off new tech. companies.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink


      “There are around 80 free zones within the EU. Until 2012 there were five free ports within the UK, until the UK government allowed the domestic laws that set up those ports to expire.”

      • NickC
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, Anything on “[not so] fullfact” is bound to be propaganda.

        • hefner
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          So NickC, please tell me, what is not propaganda? Breitbart, ConsWoman, RT, FreeNations, … Let me know, I want you to share the ‘Truth’ with me, pleeeeaaase.

          • NickC
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

            Hefner, You choose what you want to believe, just as I do. But any organisation that claims it has a monopoly of the “facts” – as in “fact check” or “full fact” – is clearly begging the question, and I will therefore treat it with suspicion.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        The concept is meaningless within the EU it’s just a name

  6. Jack Falstaff
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Indeed an excellent idea.
    But what’s the betting the EU, with their fear of anything either financially sophisticated or competitive, starts bleating about the UK being a “tax haven”?
    It is quite common for people in the EU to describe the City as a tax haven, especially when they can’t get their heads round things like financial instruments or investment funds.

    • miami.mode
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      The Bundesbank is notoriously averse to what have been referred to as “financial weapons of mass destruction”. Mind you, with the havoc wreaked at various times they’re probably right to be a bit wary.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink


        “Mind you, with the havoc wreaked at various times they’re probably right to be a bit wary.”

        What havoc are you referring to?

        The Bundesbank was established in 1957 and as far as I know have caused little havoc. Unlike the 2008 US banking crisis that nearly ruined world money markets.

        Reply It assisted with the Euro crises and extreme austerity policies of the last decade

        • miami.mode
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Slight misunderstanding there, Margaret. I meant the Bundesbank were perhaps right to be wary of the financial instruments that caused the havoc of the banking crisis.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      when they can’t get their heads round things like financial instruments or investment funds.

      I can help with that.

      ‘Financial instrument’ – yet another way of parting fools from their money

      ‘Investment fund’ – a fund that purports to be managed by ‘investment experts’ that, once again, parts fools from their money.

      I’d like to know of an ‘investment fund’ where the ‘experts’ are so confident they take their fees from profits and earn nothing if the fund loses money. Gains in one year to be offset against losses the previous year etc. Then we’d see how good these gurus are.

  7. Newmania
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    We had seven free ports from 1984 to 2012, when John Redwood`s Party discontinued them. These included Liverpool, Southampton, Port of Tilbury, Port of Sheerness, and Prestwick Airport and so on.
    Clearly their use outside the EU was inconsequential but now , with the high tariffs and NTCs faced by the rest if the country they are a way to avoid Brexit .
    Their main purpose is in fact an unexciting desire not to destroy the fish processing industry which depends on European customers for obvious reasons ( no we do not process far East or Australian fish )
    Obviously they are no use to the rest of the economy as they assist neither imports or exports .
    Its a perfect example of presentation over substance what is in fact ….a miserable defensive admission of Brexit failure that will destroy as many local economies as it helps
    is ..apparently ” an exciting opportunity”.
    Well I`m just thrilled

    • Richard1
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      You should inform yourself better before posting. ‘Freeports’ within the EU are meaningless as rightly pointed out by Rishi Sunak when he wrote a paper on them. Any incentives offered are subject to state aid rules and of course any measure could be subject to challenge at future time by the ECJ. They also need pre-approval from the EU.

    • NickC
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Newmania, When we worked to leave the EU, and voted Leave, we made history. It was a wonderful achievement. The simple concept of independence beat your EU dirigiste ideology. Your whinge from the sidelines about the UK “fish processing industry which depends on [EU] customers” is as fake as it is pathetic.

      • Newmania
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        Nick C opposition to this xenophobic fantasy has never been stronger than it is now.
        I well remembered how the Leave campaign was conducted .It will never never be forgotten or forgiven

        • Edward2
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          So how did the last election result happen?
          And recent polls show no drop in support post Starmer

        • NickC
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          Newmania, You appear to be saying that the entire world – except 27 countries – exists as a “xenophobic fantasy” just because we want our independence. The Leave campaign was wonderfully inspirational and honest. We made history. Remain is history.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      The first Freeport was established by Henry VIII – it was Chepstow in Monmouthshire and it was set up to reduce the pressure on Bristol and the tidal Avon.
      Freeport’s have been a great idea since then and I love the new tech twist which will extend them. The great ports on the west coast are set to reestablish their superiority over the eastern ports, because that’s the world wide trade side.
      No doubt the east will experience its resurgence with the reestablishment of military presence, as that is the side where our enemies have long been.

  8. jerry
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Whilst I’m fully supportive of Freeports, or indeed bonded warehouses and factories (which I take are your “virtual Freeport” zones, not necessarily located at or around ports of entry?), let’s not take our eyes off the needs of businesses outside of such areas, it is here that most of our GDP has and always will be created and it is this areas that needs help with business rates holiday, entrepreneur’s relief from CGT, no Stamp duties and lower VAT/purchase tax.

  9. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Sounds sensible.

    If a manufacturer exports a lot, certain advantages should be theirs to help them along, especially regarding tax.

    Where their goods are also for home consumption – they just go out a different door with applicable requirements

  10. Nigl
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Yes looks very positive, let’s us hope that the nay sayers and bureaucracy do not hinder it. I trust you and others on the entrepreneurial side of the Tories will stay close to ensure no slippage.

    I still think the wider, especially small business community needs fewer handcuffs in terms of tape and regs, constant requests for information etc albeit not of the ‘send them up chimneys if they want to’ of the Lifelogics but acknowledging modern responsibilities. HMG should convene regular meetings with ‘ordinary’ SMEs not the big PLCs or lobbyists to hear from the grass roots what should and can be done away with.

    Off topic nasty reports from senior brexiteers (you?) about poison pills in the WDA. To me very worrying. Is Boris not being totally straight with us?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Is it true that the UK is funding security improvements to Strasbourg parliament?
      (And no doubt a whole host of other things).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      The best protection for worker is lots of alternative jobs being available. Most government activity, employment “protections” and the endless red tape means fewer are available.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      If someone is happy to do a job for £4 an hour why should the government ban it by law? Perhaps they enjoy it, and perhaps it does not work at £6 per hour. They can after all work for nothing as volunteers. They one assumes prefer to work at this rate than not.

      • dixie
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        So where do these individuals get the funds they actually need for food, shelter and clothing? You don’t think they can survive on your piddling £4 an hour do you?

    • NigelE
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Those poison pills have always been in the Withdrawal Agreement, pretty well from when T May presented them at Chequers as a done deal with Merkel. Boris signed the Treaty back in December – I think – and unless the EU agrees to change things (unlikely) then we will pay £39 billion, have ongoing liabilities, the NI situation will be a mess, and there will be a role for ECJ for eight years.

      Far from ideal, but I think we’ll have to live with it. Thank you, Theresa; thank you Boris.

    • Len Peel
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      The so-called poison pills are in the ovenready deal Mr Redwood campaigned for in Wokingham last December and in the deal he and every other Tory MP voted for in Parlament in January. If they dont like it now, they have a LOT of explaining to do

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I am not a businessman because all my life I have been a professional working to improve my performance as a teacher.
    If I was out after money and creating a business, however, I would want this. If there is no gain at the end, why bother?

    • Otto
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      ‘…working to improve my performance as a teacher.
      If I was out after money …’

      Start with, ‘If I were out after….’ Subjunctive dear boy, subjunctive. Sorry couldn’t resist.

      I did fail my 11+ though.

  12. Nigl
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Ps re getting the economy back up and running. I see Peers want to ban smoking outside restos and bars etc because of the increased health risk. I don’t smoke but for **s sake will they allow me personal choice and some common sense.

    They truly are mad killjoys looking to further decrease any modicum of fun we have left and more trashing of the hospitality industry.

    • Andy
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      You have the personal choice to smoke. You do not have the personal choice to poison me with your smoke.

      • NickC
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Andy, You have the personal choice of keeping away from a smoker, rather than bludgeoning your views onto him by preventing him from smoking. Oh, and Nig1 said he wasn’t a smoker anyway. It’s your inner authoritarian peeping out.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Could well be the death knell of many pubs.

        Bundle of fun, you are !

      • Edward2
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        You better stay in under your quilt then andy.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Wonder if they have shares in cannabis?
      Anyway…I believe there is another use for the tobacco crop.
      Using it to make……a Covid vaccine!!
      So smokers, the previous keen consumers can go hang!
      There’s untold gold in them there leaves.

    • Peter Cousins
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink


  13. agricola
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Absolutely agree, an essential component in a dynamic economy. It will be a measure of our government post EU membership, lets see what they come up with.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      It seems that they are just coming up (!) with more imprisonments.
      I ask again…what will they do when ‘flu season hits? Will they know the difference?

  14. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Let’s get Britain working again and we don’t need foreign labour to staff them.
    Britain first for once.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      +1 my tenant who runs a very successful restaurant is losing £150 a day since he reopened. He has to manually collect contact data from all clients ‘in case there is an outbreak of CV19 and the Council Decide on a pen and paper track and trace😂😂.

      This is taking much time and is really intrusive.

      This nonsense must stop! Boris must come clean and accept he was taken to the Cleaners by Ferguson et all. He owes us all bigtime and better start paying now. Contrition!

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        I’ve used two in the past weekend. In the first, I booked online – so no work required by the staff. At the second, I filled in a very short form – so, again, little work for the staff.

    • bill brown
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg,

      We are all immigrants at one stage or anothe in our long family histories, adn it goes for most of britain as well, so this foreingner stuff form you , is really just totally unrealistic and close to nonsense

      • Edward2
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        That is wrong.
        Most Britains have long histories of residency in the UK.

      • NickC
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Bill B, Wrong as ever. Modern genetic research indicates the majority of DNA in the British isles arrived with the people who settled here in an empty land as the ice sheets shrank 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Invaders and migrants have had remarkably little effect since then.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        We are NOT all immigrants. Most of us are the decedents of people who walked here before the channel flooded. We came with the Chillingham herd! Some of us have <1% scandanavian blood – that is a Viking 10 generations back ( 10 generations back =1024 people. Each .09%) or maybe Iberian (from the Armada, some were shipwrecked on our coast) Or French (Norman). But those people added their genes to our gene pool by right of conquest. They proved better than those already here.
        Very few are immigrants, and those of you who are should remember that!

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Years ago Bill immigrants weren’t given full furnished housing taking social housing stock from people that have been living here for generations and leaving them in high costing private small box houses – we didn’t pay their cost of living with no work expected in return.

    • Len Peel
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      We don’t need foreign labour? You ever been to a hospital?

      • NickC
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Len Peel, The idea that a country of 70m cannot find its own doctors, nurses and cleaners is fantasy.

  15. Nigl
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Your government has quietly sanctioned a quasi extension to our EU ties but pushing out our tax and customs arrangements to next July and then it still won’t be ready et etc.

    Gove’s statement was mere hubris. We have had 4 years to be ready. Why are we only starting now and does anyone believe we will be IT effective given our history, the latest being the ‘mythical’ test and trace.

    • Andy
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      No. Our IT will not be effective.

      Brexit was always a stupid idea. Erecting trade barriers while pretending you support free trade. Sacrificing a huge amount of sovereignty while claiming you want more sovereignty. Steeling personal freedoms while claiming you are restoring freedoms.

      But even though Brexit as always been a dumb idea it has never had to be nearly as dumb as it has become.

      Early on you need expertise and a consensus about the best way forward. You never did that – you just lumbered from crisis to crisis as your project encountered reality. I’m afraid you have simply guaranteed that Brexit will be a short term project.

      I suspect it will take 15-20 years to undo it – maybe a bit more. Maybe a bit less. But I’m afraid Britons will not like the reality of what is coming their way and the consequences for the personal Brexiteers in government will be profound.

      • NickC
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Says the man who shrieked that we would need 55,000 extra pen-pushers for Brexit (Andy, 21 June). Meanwhile the government has announced plans for 500 extra Border force staff (explained Gove on Andrew Marr 12 July). You’re only 11,000% out, Andy. Not bad for you.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        It hasn’t happened yet.
        Wait until 1st January 2021.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      We have had 4 years to be ready

      Sorry mate but that is pure bolleaux. The first two and a half years were wasted trying to get Remainers to accept the referendum result. And the EU insisted on negotiating the WA before negotiating the future when, anyone sane who wanted to get it over with, would have negotiated both of them at the same time. But we have had very weak prime ministers and negotiators. I had hoped Boris would be made of tougher material but I am no longer sure what he is made of. It might be marshmallow.

      • NickC
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        Mike W, I am afraid that Boris is someone who really likes to be liked. That is his (and possibly our) undoing.

      • Andy
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Brexit going wrong is always the fault of everybody else isn’t it. A brilliant idea poorly executed.

        Except it is a naff idea poorly executed. And all of you are to blame.

        • NickC
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          “All” of us?? What, not just angry old Tory pensioners? Most of the world thinks independence is good, but not Andy.

  16. Adam
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Freeing a zone to develop according to how its functioning parts can operate stimulates toward better. Consumers and markets sensibly sort out the best they need.

    Govt is better when it taxes or restricts the bad things instead of adding a cost burden to the goods.

  17. Peter Downs
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Let’s get moving and revitalise British business. Upwards and onwards ASAP.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    One side effect of Sunak’s Stamp Duty holiday is that it is a large incentive (up to £15K per unit) for landlords to empty their properties (and not renew leases) and to put them on the market to sell before March next year. Especially since landlords are now idiotically taxed on profits they have even not made (as their mortgage interest is absurdly no longer fully allowable for tax) plus they have very high CGT without indexation on a sale). I alone have about 2o properties affected in this way so millions of properties and tenants must be in this position.

    Does Sunak really want people evicted for this reason? He should make this SDLT change permanent and he should also reduce SDLT to 1% maximum for all properties and address the absurd taxation of landlords. Plus we need relaxtion of planning to increase supply of properties for sale and to rent. Indicating (at this stage – should have been earlier) that he is a low tax chancellor (and not just at heart but actually in reality) would be a very good thing to do. Tell the world now that UK welcomes wealth, jobs, hard work, inward investment, freedom and choice. Also that there is a very good prospect that Labour will never gain power here every again and the Conservative party is no longer going to be essentially Soft Socialists as it has been most of my life.

    Only four years or so until the next election after all – and these actions take time to have their very positive effects they have not even cancelled HS2 yet.

    Pay for it by scrapping HS2, scrapping student loans for the 75% of degrees that are largely worthless or even of negative value and firing the very many people working for the state who do rather more harm than good.

  19. Ian @Barkham
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    If the UK had a balanced equitable tax system there would never be the need for this type of fudge.

    Think about it, it is a license for some to undercut the mainstream exporters that contribute to the UK’s wealth, health and security. That is sticking 2 fingers up at UK industry, telling them they now have to subsidies other companies to they can be undercut. The UK Government saying to industry we don’t need you.

    Another, start-out well meaning concept that isn’t thought through and avoids addressing the main issue of a poorly structured main stream tax system that we have in the UK.

    Until the UK Government treats all participants in creating what could a great economy equally it will be one fudge after another to address the previous fudge.

  20. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Yes, I suppose that since there’s nothing much happening just now, we might as well discuss freeports.

    • Andy
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      They only want them for their tax dodging donors and friends. It really is no harder than that.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      So go on then – discuss them.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      There was plenty of appalling behaviour on the streets of Cardiff – can we talk about that? But then I imagine you don’t read news unless it headlines ‘China’.

    • Bob Dixon
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Are all dwellers in Wales as cheerful as your self?

      • Fred H
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        plenty of reasons to be that upbeat!

    • Edward2
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Not everyone in the country is obsessed with Brexit and Covid to the extreme levels you are.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I suppose that since there’s nothing much happening just now, we might as well discuss freeports.

      What do you want to discuss? The bloody boring virus and the job losses? We need some enterprise and ‘can-do’ attitudes at the moment. Not endless carping.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      I expect the government to be able to multi-task.

  21. Michael
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    If small areas can benefit from being free think how much the entire country would benefit from the same freedom from government taxes and regulations. It would be a golden age.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      No, it would turn the country into a grossly polluted slum, and with a staggering death toll from industrial injury and disease.

      Don’t you remember the 1950s and 60s?

      • Edward2
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Sounds more 1850 or 1750.
        I think this is your most ridiculous comment ever Martin.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          I do wonder where he lived in those years!

      • Fred H
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        how was it different to other countries?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Some, near us, very sensibly got together, to end the Race To The Bottom in environmental and H&S standards, Fred.

          The UK, albeit kicking and screaming, implemented those too when it joined them.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

            Which party has race to the bottom policies?
            More Project Fear nonsense from you.

          • NickC
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Martin, There was no “race to the bottom” here. Environmental and H&S standards have been steadily improving for over 150 years, well before your EU empire jumped on our bandwagon.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        I remember the ’60s. Our land was less populated, the Green Belt was in better shape, we were able to build nuclear power stations without foreign assistance and I was able to go to Spain for a holiday without drama – despite our not being in the EEC.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          With foetid, murky, open sewers and chem waste dumps rather than rivers and coastal waters, and appalling industrial disasters, never mind a choice of Blue Nun or Hirondelle at the off-licence.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            thats no way to describe Cardiff, or is it?

  22. Javelin
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Off topic but it is worth reading Professor Frank Furedi‘s blog on covid. Just google it.

    Back in the 1950s, the term ‘vulnerable’ was never used to describe victims of floods, or any other disasters. … Today, vulnerability is one of the defining features of personhood. As a result, the cultural script that now influences everyday life tends to call into question the capacity of people to deal with adverse experiences.

    It is not possible to understand the way governments have responded to Covid-19 without considering the signals that contemporary culture sends about human existence more broadly. Since 1976, worst-case thinking has become institutionalised.

    Unfortunately, in the current era psychological values trump moral values. Children are taught the psychological values of self-esteem and emotional literacy. Historically, our view of personhood was based on the principles of morality and autonomy.

    The classical virtue of courage was not about the self. It was rooted within ideas of responsibility, altruism and wisdom. It may seem like a terribly archaic and unrealistic aspiration, but society really needs to engage with these virtues that for so long fortified the human spirit against adversity.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      I have grown to loath the word ‘safe’.

    • NickC
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Javelin, Indeed. Unfortunately, responsibility, altruism and wisdom are no longer valued as much. C S Lewis warned that modern men had atrophied chests – the seat of magnanimity, of emotions organised by training – so that their heads (the intellect) appeared bigger than the ordinary. He said: “We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst”.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Too damn true. I only see the virtues that uplift humanity on the racecourse where the horses put us all to shame. they are called ‘honest’ – they give their all.

    • dixie
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Listen to the media and politicians – it is no longer “vulnerable” but “incredibly vulnerable”. Not just trying to give an impression of weakness and fear, they always over egg with superlatives.

      Is this feminisation or covert social engineering?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      So deal with the utter triviality of wearing a mask, instead of throwing a two-year-old’s tantrum about it then.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        I’m not surprised you have had experience of a 2 year old’s tantrum! Yours never left you!

  23. David_Kent
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Thank you for drawing our attention to the deadline for participating in the consultation on freeports.
    I have replied to the consultation in favour of establishing one freeport as a Hong Kong charter city offering a special welcome of ex residents of HK by progressively implementing the rules, regulations and tax levels in HK at present but with added democratic control.
    This would not only be successful but send out a strong political signal to the EU and China of the global ambitions of the UK.

    • Bob Dixon
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      I could not agree more. Lets designate it with Boris’s Airport on the north bank of the Thames.

    • ukretired123
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Very interesting idea. Could be even called New Hong Kong!
      That really would show up a lot of undemocratic and bureaucratic talkers…

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      the global ambitions of the UK.

      What are you smoking? Global ambitions? Global ambitions! This is not the 18th century you know. We are a tiny country that is now insignificant on the ‘world stage’ (whatever that is). We need to concentrate on us. On our own food and energy production and on making as much stuff here as possible. And stop having delusions about trading globally. We can’t compete with China on anything.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Mike Wilson -‘We can’t compete with China on anything.’
        – – – stealing IP rights, cyber hacking, sending your students abroad to learn secrets, terrorising the public, denying religious freedoms, unparalled lying to the rest of the world, invading international waters to make it your own, intimidating small neighbouring countries, dumping cheap product on export markets until local production collapses, chucking more damaging muck into the atmosphere than the lowest polluting 150 countries of the world put together, raping and pillaging third world countries of their natural resources pretending to be helping their economies…..
        Will that do as a starter for 10?

      • NickC
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Mike W, Whilst I agree with your general sentiment about not having delusions about our importance, we do trade globally already. And ARM (now owned by the Japanese), at least, competes with China.

        • ukretired123
          Posted July 18, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          Arm was then sold onto China!

    • forthurst
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      There are many good ideas which could imported from Hong Kong; however there is no need to import Chinese people to implement them as they were created by the English as a colony in the first place.

  24. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Let’s start with a presumption of zero taxes except a very low Corporation tax, say 5%, and work from there. There could be surrounding areas where workers would live on the same basis – no taxes paid until it’s proven that they are actually using services which they need too pay for, and then hypothecated. Spread this out and you have a country where it’s known precisely where its taxes are headed, plus a 5% Corporation tax cherry on top for the Sovereign Wealth fund.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Corporation tax is misguided if businesses invest their profits in the UK they should not have to pay it. We want such investment and expansion. Pay Tay only when they distribute profits to owners or to staff in wages or profit share.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Taxpayers pay very little for the services they actually use locally, what they’re paying for is the system to keep everyone else around them from just stealing everything they work for, to stop anarchy on the streets, to try to control those that need stimulants just to get up each day and those who can’t cope with life because their parents and our education system has completely failed them. You’re paying to look after the elderly that no-one in their own family can look after or in many cases even want to look after. Look what happens around you if local Councils just stop cutting the grass and shrubs you can’t walk down the pavement where I live without fear of some sharp bush putting your eye out. The local estates are a right mess litter, tins, old fridges, just dumped on the grass verges.

      We have too many people who get too much without anything expected from them in return and the state of their homes is an eye sore, tackle that, why these women are having so many children they are incapable of looking after properly and why does the State Daddy keep failing.

  25. Pat
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Freeports are a government imposed market distortion with tax levels imposed by central government

    The real benefit would lie in Freeports being allowed to innovate and compete as charter cities

    How can this be achieved?

  26. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I will be interested to see what happens to this initiative because true free ports as they are understood in the rest of the world wouldn’t be allowed under any “level playing field” provisions on state aid and taxation that might be agreed as part of an FTA agreement with the EU. So my guess is that this proposal will be booted off into the long grass.

  27. Everhopeful
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Roll it out across the entire country!
    Let people make, grow, bake things and sell them.
    How could things possibly be worse?
    We all know what taxation is and the State’s swag bag is full to bursting.

  28. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Totally off topic

    John – I see Mr Sunak is offering £5k to householders for insulation etc. i see this as WIDE open to fraud and believe the vast majority of the cash will end up in the fraudsters pockets.

  29. Anthony
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    What about freeports in services eg. nominating a particular area of the country for captive insurance, say. Guernsey, the Isle of Man etc. make tons of money out of operating captive insurance industries.

    Spread over the whole country, it is unlikely that this venture would make a noticeable difference to anyone. Concentrated in Leeds, say, this industry would make a big difference to that city.

    One could create a hub of such areas. Investment funds could have a centre in Bradford, say. The supporting legal and accounting firms would be spread across both places. This would attract higher earners and further increase demand in those places.

  30. David Henry
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Why mot make the entire country one giant freeport? that would really show we mean business.

  31. ukretired123
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Freeport creation is desperately required to fire up everyone’s imagination and catapult Britain forward for a change. We have many really talented people (aka Bright Sparks) in this country and we need to encourage them all to step up to the challenge. It is interesting to see how various people view this one in a generation opportunity to revolutionise business thinking.
    We need a new spirit of enterprise similar to the business equivalent of Silicon Valley/Disneyland where new ideas are a way of life. To quote Uncle Albert:-
    “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Albert Einstein.

  32. glen cullen
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    If the philosophy of ‘freeports’ where so good than why doesn’t our govt adopt the policy across the whole of the UK…..maybe because its more smoke and mirrors

    Not to be so pessimistic on a Monday but this government(s) is about revenue generation and not independent private business growth (unless they can think of a new way to tax it)

    I do despair at our government(s) and there approach to why they exists…we need a new magna carta

  33. Iain Gill
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    something like 35% of the population on benefits, plus furlough scheme, we need to do something radical to set those who have spent their life creating wealth free. and transform this society into something where magic money trees are not needed. i am far from convinced our political class have the faintest idea how to do that, just looks like more state manipulation of the markets in all directions.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Then another massive percentage of the population in the public sector, or their subcontractors, of which significant numbers are non jobs that contribute nothing to society. We are so inefficient, and strangling the few percentage of the population genuinely creating wealth.

      • hefner
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Well, 5.44 million people in the public sector including 1.73 million employed by the NHS, and 27.55 million in the private sector. That’s 16.5% of the total workforce in the public sector ( figures).
        Have you ever considered the possibility that the 83.5% of the workforce should be a bit more productive?
        As the good people of ‘Britannia Unchained’ said ‘The British are among the worst idlers in the world’. Just see how many of them on this blog.

        • NickC
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          Hefner, You are on this blog too.

  34. William Long
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The thing I find difficult to understand is, if low taxes are so good for a given area like a port, why are they not equally good for the country as a whole? Why not go the whole hog and make the whole of the UK into a truly desireable low tax area?

  35. John E
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    If they are such a good idea why not make the whole country a free port?

    I have run a maquiladora type factory in Mexico. Their systems work well as a starting point but there was a lot of paperwork and attendant inefficiency. For example we had to invite the local tax office to witness the destruction and disposal of any waste to show we weren’t importing it into the country.

    But really if it’s such a good idea why not extend it to the whole country.

  36. Ian
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Yes SirJohn, a great idea, nothing new, it has been done before ? Why did it go wrong, the politics not not quite right.
    This time , it will be politics again.
    I am sure that most of us see Sir John again Banging his common sense head against a brick wall, of most of the inhabitants of both Houses.
    This I think is a ploy to put forward a delay by the Remainers , we will see, but how much time is enough.
    Anyone who’cannot see this as Betrayal in the making must be blind, there will be hell to pay, and then we will get Nigel Farage in.
    Bring it on, I am so sick of the whole farce
    They have talked enough WTO. Some chance of that !

  37. Nigl
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    We are told Mays WDA, is legally the one we have to adhere to. ECJ, State Aid etc.

    Looks like we are being shafted and Boris’s assertions so much BS.

    • Andy
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      The Withdrawal Agreement as it stands was negotiated by Boris Johnson. Border down the Irish Sea and all. It was passed by MPs this year – after the general election. Virtually all Conservative MPs voted for it. Virtually all other MPs opposed it. Most Tories clearly didn’t read it but they were told -falsely – it could be changed later.

      It is, in fact, a binding international treaty. It can only be amended if the EU agrees. Which they won’t. If you break it anyway every other country will know we are a country which cannot be trusted. A rogue state.

      It is a terrible, terrible deal. But – on the plus side – it is a Tory pensioner deal. And – more importantly – ha, ha, ha. Told you.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        If the Withdrawal Agreement is a treaty then why are the EU and the UK having years of negotiations?

        Hint it isn’t a treaty.
        The clue is in the title.

      • NickC
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Andy, The Withdrawal Agreement as it stands was literally negotiated by Theresa May and her team, not Boris Johnson, as you falsely claim. In the very short time available to him Boris had to battle a hostile Remain Parliament and a vindictive EU empire to make it slightly better. We are where we are because of the Remain forces in the establishment who, like you, demanded we overturn a democratic Referendum vote.

    • Ken Dunne
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      I completely share your concern, where is the oven ready deal which got rid of all EU rules and got rid of the Court? It seems we are still not sovereign, and Boris and Cummings are taking us for fools. Please explain, JR

  38. Roger Wolf
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Great idea. lets do it quickly.

  39. ian
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Another eighties policy when VAT was 15 per cent. Well, the first thing would be a sale tax instead of VAT and maybe an operating levy for companies and businesses which would be a gross taxation system to run alongside free ports and accountants working on businesses performance and profits instead of working on taxes, this may encourage more self-employed people to take on staff so they move on to gross taxation, there about five million self-employed people and if 2.5 million of them took on one worker or two workers, you could the unemployment rate, in this, you can make the business a more simple affair with most of the red tape cut out.
    You need a government program in place for small businesses as you see with companies like funding circle so that pubs and restaurants and small businesses can get hands-on money, the banking system is not up to the task they preoccupied with bigger problems.
    The other thing is the NHS and other government organisation taking all the money in the system for themselves and coming up with zero performance, soon the NHS will running at 200 billion a year while sucking the lifeblood out of the economy, what the good of a waiting list four or five years long, you might as well shut it down and give the money enterprise instead, I never such a load crap in all my life, one idea might be to cut hospitals and GPs out from the rest of the service and hand it over to big businesses to fund and manage with their own management teams in place at the top while council and government look after social care, home help with mental health, a levy can be charged to all businesses, companies and the self-employed along with gov, councils and BBC paying share for their workers and ex-employees, at the moment, if one your workers is off sick waiting for an operation you do not know when or if they are coming back with four-year waiting lists, companies that make medical devices and other who robots and other tec can a better platform for there sale which in turn will their exports more cheaper with bigger profits which tranlates into more tax more workers and more factorys producing more high end sales and tec.

    • Al
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      “You need a government program in place for small businesses as you see with companies like funding circle” – ian

      Why create a new government organisation if things like Funding Circle exist and are already performing the role? Simply offer a grant/loan matching scheme for people who are approved by these existing channels. Minimal bureaucratic overhead and no need for public sector competition that could put private sector lenders out of work.

      Or allow Giftaid-style tax rebates on peer-to-peer funds lent through these sources. That’s an extra 20-40% for a small business to use that wouldn’t need to be paid back, and again GiftAid already exists so it doesn’t require huge admin overheads and reinventing the wheel.

      I completely agree the banks are not up to the job.

  40. Ian @Barkham
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    The UK has burdened its industry with high taxes and red tape galore. The wealth, health and security we all enjoy is funded by the few. Because the system is designed so those that can least afford it are funding those that generally have their tax base elsewhere.

    It would be nice if contributions to the workings of the country were funded by the many on an equal basis according to economic activity. Oh boy, how we would ‘all’ prosper then.

    The Chancellors freeport initiative, whilst a great sound-bite seeks to maintain the dampening of the ‘many’, keeping them suppressed just so a few that don’t contribute and can get to freeload. If you export the government is going to create a situation that you will be undercut by those you are funding by your own taxpayment’s.

    Government has seen the problem, we have to much red tape and a very high tax regime for what left of our indigenous industry. Does it set out to rectify it, no, it sets out to burden it more. We are not all in this together!

  41. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    tax cherry on top for the Sovereign Wealth fund

    Good one. I am sure my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren (and probably a couple of generations after them) will be over the moon that there is a ‘Sovereign Wealth’ fund to offset the £2,000,000,000,000 they owe.

    TWO MILLION, MILLION pounds – much of it spent on those of us that are old farts.

  42. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    The free port zone could also be a place to manufacture or add value to goods and services for the home market, where any tax and regulatory compliance took place at the time of completion and transport to market.

    What’s the difference between that and a bog-standard factory making widgets for the home market?

  43. David Brown
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    On the surface it seems like a good idea, although it was a Conservative Gov who got rid of the previous Freeports.
    I guess Westminster can establish them for England then its down to the devolved Govs for other countries in the UK to establish their Freeports.

  44. Sea Warrior
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    A good place to build a PPE factory, perhaps?

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Yes, we could put all of the immigrants living inside these freeports and put them straight to work making ppe rather than free living.

  45. Fred H
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC (for some).
    A record number of migrants crossed the Channel on the day the home secretary announced a “new operation approach” to dealing with small boat crossings.
    The Home Office said 180 migrants made the crossing to the UK on Sunday in 15 boats. More than 200 migrants were also intercepted by the French authorities and prevented from making the crossing. The coastguard said it was dealing with a number of small boats crossing the Channel on Monday morning.
    So far this year 2,660 people have made the crossing to the Kent and Sussex coast from France in small boats.

    • Andy
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      But Brexit. You left. How can this happen? (Smirk).

      • Fred H
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        How ? Well I think they are leaving the French coast? Perhaps they are paddling up from Spain, or in the Med? What is certain is that they would rather risk drowning and/or imprisonment to escape France (or the rest of the world?).
        What does that say about destination UK? (grin).
        Now if they thought the place was full of Andy’s!

      • NickC
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Andy, We have not left. We are still controlled by your EU.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Insist the French pay our millions back T May gave them to police their coast. We need the money back to pay all the living costs we have now taken on. How come in England we have to house, feed and pay them a weekly living cost but in France they’re in tents in underpasses, woodland and Calais and nearby dirt camps, how to French benefits compare to ours exactly?

    • beresford
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Remember Theresa May slunk off to sign the UN Migration Compact, which said that mass migration was ‘necessary and desirable’. When a petition was raised the official response was ‘Too late, we’ve already signed it’, a response which even the ombudsman said was inadequate. The Establishment want this to happen, the question is ‘Why?’.

  46. steve
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink


    Off topic I know, but can you please tell Mr Johnson that if we are to be forced to wear face nappies, then he’s just cost your party the next general election.

    If we want to be made to look stupid we can simply vote Labour instead.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Just as we’re allowed into pubs and restaurants…

      I also notice the same kill joys have wasted no time in further ostracising smokers – now not even outside pubs ! (I’m not a smoker)

      This on top of road restrictions put in whilst we were all in lockdown and the restrictions on free speech.

      This has been boom time for the Left and the kill joy and the school prefect types.

    • RichardP
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree with your comments Steve.
      Did you notice Boris stuffing his Tory Blue face nappy into his pocket at the London Ambulance HQ this afternoon? That’s exactly what everyone will do with the wretched things when they aren’t in use and it will ensure a liberal dose of virus and bacterial infection when you put it on next time.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Off topic I know, but can you please tell Mr Johnson that if we are to be forced to wear face nappies, then he’s just cost your party the next general election.

      There’s only a few nutters that think like you. Most sane people will be quite happy to wear a mask during a pandemic. Like the sane people of South Korea etc.

    • beresford
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      In Wales they are being told to wear a ‘three-layer’ mask, so this stuff about covering your face with a scarf will be inadequate. The Government says that there is a ‘mounting body of evidence’ but it is more like a mounting campaign by Sky and the BBC. Next will be mandatory facemasks anywhere outside your own front door.

    • Al
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Does anyone else find it entertaining that after spending who knows how many millions putting CCTV on every street and rolling out facial recognition, we’re now required by law to wear something that defeats it?

    • Bill B.
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Masks will be your government’s poll tax.

      You still have time to rethink, or at the very least put a short time limit on this shameful measure for a Conservative government to be introducing.

  47. ed2
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    John, I put in my tax late this year as I could not afford my accountant and have never done it on my own, but I have lost the £7400 payment to small business because of it. Usually, it is a £100 fine for being late, which I accept and pay, but this year it was a £7600 fine as that is how much I lost. MPs said this was to punish those who do not “play by the rules”, but did they not consider some people may be late as they suddenly lost their income and couldn’t afford their accountant? Can anything be done, this seems cruel and nasty.

  48. Iain Gill
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Re the UK’s new points-based immigration system: policy statement – basically anyone earning more than £25K can get a visa (that’s everyone in London for a start) why hire expensive local resources at £50-£60k when you can get 2 people in to do the job.

    Luckily the market is so good at the moment !!!

    Indian outsourcing movement will be celebrating.

  49. Ed M
    Posted July 14, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    Evidence shows (not sure how good evidence is) that the second wave of virus in Israel occurred because of schools. If so, this is important for government to consider in future virus planning.

    Surely, we need to focus on the economy and health before schools (important as they are)?

    • Ed M
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 12:10 am | Permalink

      Not that children are that affected by the virus but they are carriers. Unfortunately we have to deal with the reality that a certain % of the population are fearful of catching and passing on the virus – with the media not helping at all. But the government still has to act within these unfortunate realities – if it is to keep people spending money so as to keep the economy going. If people get scared, they won’t go out to buy things and eat in restaurants and so forth. We can’t afford that.

  50. ed2
    Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I will not be shopping if I am forced to wear a mask.
    I have stocked up with a years canned food.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Ugh! …….that would push a lot of people toward ending it all!

  51. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    No, there is more to it than that. They are going to put something in this vaccine.

    To make us atheist govt worshipping commies

  52. Edwardm
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I agree, a more imaginative view of freeports could lead to a lot of benefits.

    For instance it would make sense for ports (and other defined zones) in Glasgow and Edinburgh to act as a single freeport – freeport goods can be transported from one zone to another in sealed vehicles. And similarly elsewhere.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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