Free ports need to be freed to succeed

As one who wanted Freeports I am deeply disappointed that they were not set up and open for business on 2nd January. I am fed up with the delays and with the lack of incentives to make them fly.

I read that the Treasury first delayed them, then watered them down. Apparently officials ignored the enthusiasm of the PM and the one time enthusiasm of the Chancellor. They limited any tax relief on the grounds that it might just redirect business from another part of the U.K. to a free port, cutting tax revenues. No thoughts then of growing a bigger economy by offering some tax cuts so you collect more revenue. It’s a pity the Chancellor did not stand up to this unhelpful redrafting.

There is a strong case for more generous tax cuts and incentives to attract new investment that would not otherwise happen. The Freeports could also have simplified planning requirements and assistance with land assembly.

Even better would be to extend the tax cuts to the whole country.Set a Corporation tax rate of 15%, the same as the new rate for Ireland, and watch the business pour in. Where is the imagination  and enterprise vision? Why does the Chancellor go along with dismal Treasury views that will slow our recovery and keep the deficit high?

175 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    November 22, 2021

    Good Morning,
    Why does the chancellor go along… ? The answer is the PM is notoriously disinterested in the free-enterprise, commercial, tax paying side of the economy. He likes grandiose projects that are simple to understand and put his name on.
    More seriously, Boris Bunter is about to make his third cock-up in 3 weeks! I refer to the care funding plans. First it was the arrogant attempt to overtune your own disciplinary body, last week it was the Boris Bunter Great Railway Bait and Switch, and now Care funding. Seriously Sir J, if you want to have any chance in the next election (and I seriously hope the Tories can reorganise and find their Concervative principles again) then you really have to dump the clown occupying No. 10, and pronto.

    Reply
    1. oldtimer
      November 22, 2021

      If say one thing, very loudly, but do something entirely different then trust is lost. When what you said got you elected to high office but you then, very obviously, do something else do not be surprised when you are booted out of high office at the next opportunity. That is what is going to happen to Johnson unless he jumps before he is pushed out either by Tory MPs or the electorate. Add incompetence in high office plus sleaze to the mix and the die is cast.

      Reply
    2. SM
      November 22, 2021

      I agree – I did not have very high hopes of BJ as Prime Minister, but had hoped there might be a few Ministers with their heads screwed on properly and with influence who would bring back sanity. I was wrong, and will not be voting at all at the next GE (for the first time in more than 50 years) – I have cancelled my overseas voting status.

      Reply
    3. Sir Joe Soap
      November 22, 2021

      No, we’ll get another Civil Service/Establishment puppet. Back Reform Party now is the only chance.

      Reply
      1. Sir Joe Soap
        November 22, 2021

        We were fooled by May, Cameron, and Brown who all said one thing and did another. Blair was arguably strong enough but happily had a Euro counterweight. Before that we had puppet Major. Too many sham leaders in Linlabcon.

        Reply
        1. Shirley M
          November 22, 2021

          Agreed. We are tired of being lied to. Successive governments, and the opposition., obviously feel they can deliberately deceive the electorate with impunity, because they all play the same game. It is a game that will destroy democracy, and the UK. Perhaps it already has!

          Reply
      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        November 22, 2021

        As luck would have it for conmen, there’s one born every minute.

        Reply
      3. hefner
        November 22, 2021

        If the calibre of the Reform Party candidates at the next GE is as good as what I have seen in UKIP Party candidates in previous general elections (from 2001 onwards) in Reading West, Reading East, Wokingham, Bracknell and Maidenhead the Conservative Party can still look forward to a lot of happy days for their MPs in this part of the Thames Valley.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          November 22, 2021

          Well dint don’t vote for them heffy.
          Why concern yourself.
          You have a secret vote and numerous candidates.
          What more do you desire?

          Reply
    4. Nig l
      November 22, 2021

      Spot on. I don’t tend to read the Observer but their cartoon summed it up. ‘Boris Johnson a liar and a clown’

      I want a general election now so we can boot the whole shoddy lot out now. The MP who swore at Owen Paterson gave the game away. He is considered a bit awkward because with only a small majority he represents the views of his voters. The converse being that most of them don’t care.

      And in other news I read 3 million illegals since 2000 with more every day. Who is paying?

      HMG fails to recruit 9000 promised doctors, how difficult can that be?

      HMG employing 250000 more workers for ‘cushy’ jobs causing a problem in recruitment in the private sector.
      So more cost plus the loss of tax, wealth creation etc. Corbyn would be proud.

      And Oh yes, the topic. Been covered a few times already. Weak Ministers allow the Civil Service to scupper plans. Sunak another in a long line. Zero backbone.

      Reply
      1. Timewas
        November 22, 2021

        More like a bufoon

        Reply
    5. Sea_Warrior
      November 22, 2021

      I used to think that Johnson should ‘shape-up or ship-out’. But he’s incapable of changing for the better; he has to go.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        November 22, 2021

        +1
        But be careful what you wish for.
        There are rumblings that Johnson is feeling the pressure and that there are those who would replace him with a truly radical covid jouster. À la continent.
        Don’t want that!

        Reply
    6. Mitchel
      November 22, 2021

      Did you watch Bunter’s speech to the CBI this morning?Even by his standards it was a total shambles-the glorious future seems to be Peppa Pig Land via Lenin -with a very long pause when he seemed to have the pages of his script all mixed up.

      Reply
    7. X-Tory
      November 22, 2021

      Good morning Wood, Just so you know, it would take 55 Tory MPs writing a letter to Graham Brady expressing no confidence in Boris to trigger a leadership election. The first problem you have is that I don’t believe there are 55 patriotic Tory MPs. Maybe 5, but no more. And secondly, if they did trigger an election, who’s going to be any better that Boris? The next leader will inevitably come from the cabinet (rather than being someone like Sir John) and not one of them is worth a damn.

      The only thing most Conservative MPs care about is their job, and so the only way to get them to sit up and listen is to make them afraid they will lose this. And the only way of doing that is to vote for an alternative party – such as Reform UK.

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        November 22, 2021

        And you bleat about the European Union having a “democratic deficit”.

        It’s almost funny.

        Reply
    8. Hope
      November 22, 2021

      JR, Andrew Cadman writes a very good article in TCW today on this very subject. He rightly highlights Shapps failings and inadequacy as a minister for transport.

      Secondly, another good article in TWC going to the heart of fake statistics from govt depts on covid. Also ONS figures of nearly 36,000 dying within 21 days of having the vaccines? What do you think? If correct what of Javid sacking people for not having the jab? Do you think Javid coercion should be investigated? Do you and your sheep chum MPs at least think it is worth considering before supporting authoritarian dictatorship of Johnson who has clearly leave of his senses.

      Reply
    9. DaveM
      November 22, 2021

      Peter Wood: Pretty much what I just logged on to write. How much longer is the Conservative party going to watch this man bumble from cock up to cock up (with brief interludes of meaningless sound bites and Green Party policies)?

      This isn’t funny any more – if indeed it ever was.

      Reply
    10. Timaction
      November 22, 2021

      Not many conservatives in the Tory Party. Just a vehicle to get them on the gravy train.

      Reply
    11. John Hatfield
      November 22, 2021

      uninterested?

      Reply
  2. Shirley M
    November 22, 2021

    The EU are experts at making wrong choices. This government so often emulates the EU and clings to it’s coat tails. Given a choice of two routes, the EU , and now the UK, takes the self destructive route. How long can this country survive with Boris in charge?

    Reply
    1. Sharon
      November 22, 2021

      Hear, hear, Shirley! Oh

      Reply
      1. Ignoramus
        November 22, 2021

        Slightly concerned to hear the U.K had net migration of -61,000 last year.

        With our low birthrate and people leaving the country, isn’t this going to exacerbate our labour shortages?

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          November 22, 2021

          Why don’t you ask yourself why – according to your logic – house prices are still increasing, booming, in fact?

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            November 22, 2021

            Remain told us house prices would collapse if we dared to leave the EU.
            Why dont you ask yourself why that didn’t happen NHL?

          2. Ignoramus
            November 23, 2021

            Perhaps.

            But I thought there were quite serious labour shortages at the moment.

            Perhaps I have been misinformed.

    2. Hope
      November 22, 2021

      Well Shirley if successive govts have gone along with making the UK totally dependent on EU it now has to consider how to leave its grip. NI protocol is central to this because most supply lines come from EU, hence their latest threat if article 16 is used. Worse stupid Johnson is still going along with being dependent on EU electric!!

      Where is all the planning for no deal? Are they on the shelf? Why have they not been developed further in case they had to be used? Has Gove actually prepared the country or has he been sitting on his arse? Johnson put his divorce before national interest of covid has Gove done the same except with Brexit preparation?

      Reply
    3. Hope
      November 22, 2021

      JR, Frost saying article 16 ready to be triggered at any time, Trevelyan and Gove undermining his negotiation by saying Article 16 not going to take place!! Please explain to us from yesterday’s blog and today’s why an incompetent business minister like Trevelyan and an incompetent snake like Gove do not fulfil collective responsibility in negotiating with the EU? It appears to us mere mortals it looks like Trevelyan and Gove need to be sacked. Gove having capitulated to the EU previously and was replaced by Frost!!

      Could do or die Johnson come to save the day? Or at least say which side he is on and sack Gove and Trevelyan?

      Reply
  3. Ian Wragg
    November 22, 2021

    The left wing pro EU are firmly in charge of government departments.
    Nothing that will benefit the country will be done until there is a root and branch clear out.
    The treasury wants Britain to fail because their allegiance is still to Brussels.

    Reply
    1. Sharon
      November 22, 2021

      I totally agree, Ian!

      Reply
    2. Atlas
      November 22, 2021

      Agreed. It is instructive to see how a minority of ‘Intellectuals’ – Left Wing of course – run the majority. “Culture wars” some people say – “culture capitulation to the left” I say.

      Reply
    3. Ian Wragg
      November 22, 2021

      Interesting to follow the Gridwatch power generation for the last 7 days. Wind was supplying 1.8% this time last week rising to around 30% midweek. We now have high pressure and a cold snap with wind ramping down just as demand increases.
      John, could you please point this out to anyone in government who has a brain cell.
      We are running at 98% capacity and it’s not really cold yet.

      Reply I have! I asked in the Commons how we keep the lights on when the wind does not blow

      Reply
      1. Dave Ward
        November 22, 2021

        “I asked in the Commons how we keep the lights on when the wind does not blow”

        Sir John, did the response (assuming you got one) mention the hundreds of diesel gensets spread around the country, going under the mantle of “STOR” – Short Term Operating Reserve.

        Reply
    4. Donna
      November 22, 2021

      The same applies to the Home Office and probably every other Government Department.

      We needed Cummings’ Hard Rain for Brexit to succeed …… but the current Mrs Johnson wanted him gone and the coward in No.10 did as “advised.”

      Reply
    5. Paul Bates
      November 22, 2021

      How can a government with an 80 majority claim the civil service is in charge? Let them Get a Grip.

      Reply
    6. Timaction
      November 22, 2021

      No reform of recruitment or selection processes in all public and health positions, particularly leadership positions. Therefore we’re left with pc/ woke leftwing pro mass immigration, climate change believers who only watch the BBC and read the Guardian. Only 11.5 years in office, highest taxation in over 70 years, for what?

      Reply
  4. Mark B
    November 22, 2021

    Good morning.

    Why does the Chancellor go along with dismal Treasury views . . .

    Dear Sir John

    With respect, you not been listening to your readership. The answer is very simple, but the solution is not so. You have correctly identified it – The Civil Service !!!!!

    We have a CS that is still under the sway of the EU. As such, they do not want the UK to do well outside of the EU as this will :

    A) Prove BREXITIERS correct.

    B) Encourage others in the EU to leave the project and so place it under threat.

    They, the CS, also seek to keep the UK as closely aligned to the EU as possible so when the day comes they can rejoin.

    Until the day we have a PM, a government and parliament that has the will to purge the CS of pro-EU fanatics none of what you seek shall ever happen. Of course before that we need to purge the main political parties, and by extension the government, of the same pro-EU fanaticism. This will of course take time.

    Leaving the EU, albeit notionally, was just the first step on the road to re-independence. We now have to claw back every single power bit by bit with a CS pushing hard the other way. This is classic People vs State.

    Reply
    1. Shirley M
      November 22, 2021

      Mark B
      +100 I agree with every word. It is so disheartening when democracy is undermined in this way. As things stand, what is the point of voting when we have the same unelected and unwanted CS calling the shots?

      Reply
      1. Hope
        November 22, 2021

        Cummings was about to have the clear out you both talk about. He also had the intellect and will to do it. No wonder he was not liked. Single minded and focused, it was not about being liked for him albeit in stark contrast to Trolley Johnson who wants to be loved by all.

        Reply
    2. Andy
      November 22, 2021

      Nobody else is leaving the EU. They can all see the miserable failure of your Brexit.

      They feel pity for you that you are still misguided – or brainwashed – enough to believe your problems are caused by Brussels.

      The problems in this country are mostly caused by the Conservative Party – who most of us do not vote for.

      Perhaps you should step back and realise how monumentally silly your talk of ‘purges’ is. Brexit is a miserable failure because it is an exceptionally dumb idea. It really is no more complicated than that.

      Reply
      1. Old Albion
        November 22, 2021

        Good morning Andy, always nice to hear from you ! You could be right (for once) the Conservative party is causing most of our problems. By it’s total failure to take advantage of our new found freedom since escaping the tentacles of the all consuming EU.

        What is the policy of the Raving Loony Party on Brexit?

        Reply
      2. Roy Grainger
        November 22, 2021

        Brexit a failure ? Tell that to the 10,000 people alive today because we didn’t join the EU’s failed Covid vaccination scheme.

        Reply
        1. hefner
          November 22, 2021

          RG, That’s a particularly dismal post when looking at the worldometer statistics of deaths per million people: As of yesterday (21/11/2021) UK 2,105, Spain 1,877, France 1,809, Germany 1,184, Netherlands 1,104.
          Only Czechia, Belgium and Italy are worse than the UK with 2,992, 2,279 and 2,207 deaths/million inhabitants.
          And practically no continental European country is still using the AZ vaccine. Even in the UK the third jab is done with a mRNA vaccine, either Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.

          And to put this as a benefit of Brexit is anything but judicious.

          Reply
      3. Everhopeful
        November 22, 2021

        Fear not Andy.
        I don’t think Brexit has happened!
        We are still apparently “monumentally” involved/entangled in some defence “cooperation” scheme.
        With France, Germany and Italy.
        There will maybe be some joining up opportunities?

        Reply
      4. matthu
        November 22, 2021

        You say: The Conservative Party: who most of “us” do not vote for.
        None of “you” vote for the Conservative Party. But that is not a big loss.

        Reply
      5. Longinus
        November 22, 2021

        LOL. Love your satirical work.

        Reply
      6. JPM
        November 22, 2021

        And yet we’re all very happy with it, and will only be happier when we further loosen the ties to the EU.

        Reply
      7. Micky Taking
        November 22, 2021

        still whinging… what a miserable soul.

        Reply
      8. graham1946
        November 22, 2021

        A couple of weeks ago you were congratulating the EU on the stupendous success the EU was having with Covid. Are you going to regale us again about this at the moment? Come on lets hear it, firing live on the population, lockdowns, vaccine passports, Poland, Hungary.

        Reply
      9. acorn
        November 22, 2021

        Fortunately, the UK has a Civil Service that knows how the economy actually works. It does its best to stop amateur politicians from making dumb policy mistakes. Alas, they can’t defend themselves publicly against dumb and dumber critics on social media.

        The UK issued its post-Brexit global tariff schedule (UKGT) last year which lowered tariffs on intermediate goods. This made “freeports” somewhat irrelevant. This government’s theory is as follows:-

        “If the duty on a finished product is lower than that on the component parts, a company could benefit by importing components duty free, manufacture the final product in the Freeport, and then pay the duty at the rate of the finished product when it enters the UK’s domestic market.” The reality is as follows:-

        ”… introducing Freeports in the UK is unlikely to generate any significant benefits to businesses in terms of duty savings. Tariffs on intermediates tend to be low in the UK, typically lower than tariffs on final goods, which rules out duty savings in most cases. In addition, in those sectors for which we have been able to identify any [excise duty] inversion, the benefits are small and would not have any material impact on the UK economy.” (UKTPO: Tariff inversion in UK Freeports offers little opportunity for duty savings)

        Reply
      10. No Longer Anonymous
        November 22, 2021

        Most other EU nations are net beneficiaries of the EU, so why would they leave ?

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          November 22, 2021

          Only thirteen of the US’s fifty states are net contributors to the federal budget.

          You could do a similar comparison in the UK with the different counties.

          Yorkshire soaks up quite a bit, for instance.

          Your point is?

          Reply
    3. Sharon
      November 22, 2021

      Mark B

      Another comment that’s so true!

      Reply
    4. Nottingham Lad Himself
      November 22, 2021

      There is no rational explanation for your position.

      So you invent ever more bizarre fantastical ones.

      There is no communication whatsoever between any European Union official and any civil servant, except as part of the business in hand required by the Government and only in the specific context of that work.

      Nothing at all need be done to prove brexit to be utterly negative in all materially important respects. However, a great deal must be done in order simply to minimise the damage.

      This must all be paid for, and is the consequence of only one thing – the recklessness and ill will of people like you.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        November 22, 2021

        It is no invention NHL
        27 members.
        9 pay in
        The rest get paid out.

        Reply
    5. Denis Cooper
      November 22, 2021

      And who is the minister in charge of the civil service?

      https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service

      “This role was created in 1968 and is always held by the Prime Minister.”

      Reply
    6. bill brown
      November 22, 2021

      Independence from what and whom, democratic dictatorship from the present government

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        November 23, 2021

        Just the pure joy of independence bill.
        Like the 150 plus nations that are not in the EU superstate project.

        If you studied history bill, you would realise many people have fought and even died to achieve that noble ambition.

        Reply
        1. bill brown
          November 27, 2021

          Peter 2

          I think you have to define superstate, so you use the teminology correctly

          Reply
  5. David Peddy
    November 22, 2021

    I nessence , what you are reiterating Sir John, is that this government has no economic plan; no ecconomic strategy .It is confused , contradictory and incoherent

    Reply
    1. SM
      November 22, 2021

      +10

      Reply
  6. DOM
    November 22, 2021

    It’s all a matter of political will. This PM is without care unless of course it’s an issue that has the potential to harm him and his party. That’s why the progressive cabal who now dominate our every waking moment have every Tory MP by the balls. The silence of certain Tory backbench MPs who I won’t name is evidence I need to confirm my suspicions they have capitulated to save their own skin, pay and pensions

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      November 22, 2021

      +1
      “ progressive cabal who now dominate our every waking moment”.
      That’s exactly what every day feels like now ..and I don’t sleep too well either!
      Do you mean though that the deal is “Don’t rock the boat or the party and YOU will suffer?
      It is amazing how they close rank…like soldier crabs when the tide comes in.

      Reply
    2. lifelogic
      November 22, 2021

      Over taxation, endless government waste, over regulation and the expensive energy, net zero CO2, lunacy will (and is already) damaging the Boris/Carrie government and the economy hugely.

      Reply
    3. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      At the CBI conference this morning our beloved PM was talking about ‘peppy pig’…does he not realise that the conference is aired globally – aren’t his cabinet embarrassed

      Reply
      1. hefner
        November 22, 2021

        Have you read the full text available on gov.uk? No I guess not.

        Reply
        1. glen cullen
          November 23, 2021

          You guess wrong

          Reply
  7. Mike Wilson
    November 22, 2021

    No thoughts then of growing a bigger economy

    And, again, the obsession with ‘growth’. More consumption, more energy, more waste, more crap to buy and throw away. Never any original thinking.

    Reply
    1. Kit
      November 22, 2021

      Only thing growing are taxes and debt (and bank balances of many MPs).

      Reply
    2. Garret
      November 22, 2021

      The whole UK country was a free trade area for the 27 EU countries when we were part of that bloc – now we are talking about reinventing ourselves to trade with ????

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        November 22, 2021

        What was free about it Garret?
        £13 billion a year in membership fees and an end result of a £90 billion a year trade deficit.

        Reply
  8. lifelogic
    November 22, 2021

    Nothing Sunak has done so far has been in the right direction he is a socialist at heart. The man is a tax borrow and piss down the drain gov knows best socialist. He would rather grab 80% of a small declining economy than 30% of one three times larger and growing. We are currently absurdly over taxed and on top of this we are hugely over regulated, have v. restrictive employment laws & planning and a mad expensive energy net zero agenda. Best go elsewhere perhaps to 15% CT Ireland perhaps where UK nationals can also become Non Doms and only taxed on local income I think.

    Not just CT that is too high but CGT 28% without even any indexation, Stamp Duty up to 15%, NI both nearly 15% income tax 45%, landlords rents tax at up to 100%+ due to absurd interest rules from that appalling Osborne disaster… then 40% of anything over £325K when you die. Meanwhile public services and generally second rate, dire and declining.

    Reply
    1. Sir Joe Soap
      November 22, 2021

      Captured by his Civil Service.

      Reply
    2. lifelogic
      November 22, 2021

      The socialist Sunak agenda of high taxation and over regulation simply will not work, it is totally counter productive. He is strangling the goose that produces the golden eggs. Eggs that this government then grab just to waste so appallingly. Leaving businesses and people far less to invest and far less reason to invest in the UK.

      This Socialist tax to death Sunak agenda to be followed by more of the same or worse still Labour SNP in three years is not attractive at all.

      I personally have declined to do a couple of property developments recently as the banks are now so slow, expensive and inept at putting loans in place due to the governments misdirected & over regulation of them. Plus much of my time too is now wasted on compliance, tax matters not absurdly complex and dealing with pointless red tape. This rather than on productive work.

      Reply
    3. lifelogic
      November 22, 2021

      Jonathan Ashworth (Politics and Philosophy – Durham) actually said something sensible just now on Talk Radio, must surely be a first – “Sunak is a high tax, low growth Chancellor”. He could have added and a piss down the drain green crap Chancellor too. Yet the BBC keep describing him as Thatcherite – hardly. From the current position we need rather better than a Thatcherite cutting of the state sector anyway.

      Ashworth, Starmer and Labour/SNP would of course be even worse.

      Reply
    4. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      From next year this government is introducing a new law that every new house build will have to have an EV charging point socket…just a little be more bureaucracy and a little bit more control and a little bit more cost and less freedom….thanks Boris
      ”Lights out in 10 minutes”

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        November 22, 2021

        I don’t remember any law telling me that I must have a can of petrol in my garage to top-up my car…this new law isn’t about refuelling your car its about social engineering and control

        Reply
      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        November 22, 2021

        It’s no sillier than being required to have an indoor lavatory.

        Reply
        1. glen cullen
          November 23, 2021

          I agree – let the market and the buyer decide where they’d like the toilet located….whats it got to do with government

          Reply
  9. Sea_Warrior
    November 22, 2021

    ‘I am fed up with the delays …’ So am I. This really is the Do-little government.
    P.S. I gather that the government has managed to add several hundred thousand jobs to the state’s payroll. Perhaps you could as some questions in the Commons.

    Reply
    1. lifelogic
      November 22, 2021

      All doubtless doing little or nothing of value. Plus many in the private sector are also doing nothing useful on the orders of government – building HS2, tax planning round the absurd tax system or endless red tape compliance as just a few examples. Or planning a move to Ireland, Malta, Monaco… perhaps.

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      A bit like the 12-year delay to control illegal immigration
      David Cameron said “We would like to see net immigration in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands,” he told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show. January 2010

      Reply
    3. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      Did someone mention the delay and sell-out of our fisheries….another 8 years till we’re free of the French

      Reply
  10. Newmania
    November 22, 2021

    Its hard for me to see the logic of free ports in terms of tax cuts and giveaways . If we wish to give tax cuts cutting corporation tax should be the first priority, increasing it is the most damaging tax . Also tax cuts directed only a certain regions in unfair and liable to be another round of pork barrel politics .
    We could always have had Free ports and had them in the past. They were not required in the EU
    I took it that the real agenda behind the usual froth was the salvage the fish processing industry that relied on EEA membership, beyond that ..meh ..

    Reply
    1. dixie
      November 22, 2021

      I agree across the board tax cuts are preferable, anything that makes it hard for EU countries to compete with us. Freeports could make their task harder still.

      Reply
  11. Richard1
    November 22, 2021

    Agreed it’s very weak. This was one of the signature ideas of the Leave campaign. There is no point to Brexit unless the freedoms allowed by Brexit are taken advantage of. May as well have a quite life in the EU – or at least the EEA.

    Reply
    1. formula57
      November 22, 2021

      Perhaps the oven-ready deal really does have a secret protocol after all that prevents us using our new found freedoms.

      Reply
    2. Newmania
      November 22, 2021

      May as well have a quite life in the EU – or at least the EEA.

      In the EU we were entitled to have free ports and had done so in the past.

      Don’t you love farce ?
      Its funny but sad
      Looks like you voted for something
      We already had
      But where are the clowns?
      Send in the clowns……

      Reply
    3. Peter Parsons
      November 22, 2021

      I see recently that Visa and Mastercard took advantage of the freedoms allowed by Brexit to increase their interchange fees by a factor of 5 (from 0.3% to 1.5). If there’s an advantage being taken, it’s probably us being taken advantage of.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        November 22, 2021

        Still very popular with their customers.
        Other cards are available.

        Reply
    4. Nottingham Lad Himself
      November 22, 2021

      The freedom not to be sanctioned for the gross pollution of rivers and of coastal waters with raw sewage is being made very fond use of, Richard.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        November 22, 2021

        Dud you see how the same problems exist in your beloved NHL?
        Ir did you ignore it?

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          November 23, 2021

          beloved EU….. it should have said.

          Reply
  12. Dave Andrews
    November 22, 2021

    If freeports were introduced, would they not be occupied by global multi-nationals, leaving the rest of us to bear the burden of taxation?
    If you want to stimulate business allow them to deduct training costs from their tax bill and scrap employer’s NI. Then put an end to foreign ownership of residential property and limit it to natural UK persons only, to end it as a speculation for investors and help make it affordable to those who need it.

    Reply
    1. jerry
      November 22, 2021

      @Dave Andrews; Indeed, but you forgot to mention cutting UBR.

      Reply
    2. Hat man
      November 22, 2021

      Yes, of course they would, Dave. There are no lobbyists for the excellent ideas you propose, unfortunately. I don’t think encouraging British-owned SMEs would suit those who Johnson’s working for. A strong locally-owned economy isn’t on their agenda.

      To be fair, Sunak announced a big recovery support package back in March, with a lot of money to be spent, including the freeport scheme. Perhaps our host can tell us in a future post what’s been announced as to where the rest of the funding has been going, so far. Then the picture might look better.

      Reply
  13. Gardener
    November 22, 2021

    There is no – literally no – evidence freeports do anything other than encourage smuggling. Yet another attempt by you to deflect attention from the total failure of Brexit which has brought nothing but red tape, border checks, shortages and the loss of Northern Ireland

    Reply
    1. Roy Grainger
      November 22, 2021

      They are a levelling up tool which directs jobs and activity to parts of the country that have had little of both in recent decades. It is the private sector equivalent what the government have done in moving lots of functions to Northern Ireland. I know you EU enthusiasts safe in your prosperous middle-class areas couldn’t care less about that but some of us do.

      Reply
    2. Peter2
      November 22, 2021

      Well Gardener, literally give us your evidence that Freeports do nothing other than encourage smuggling.
      Looking forward to your reply.

      Reply
    3. Mike Wilson
      November 22, 2021

      It has also brought many more channel crossings.

      One feels that our present course is a slow downward path to implosion. Ever higher taxation, ever bigger government, ever greater population, no forward planning, no clear thinking, no direction …

      Look at the money being thrown at the NHS – what for? Are they going to magic up more doctors, nurses and operating theatres?

      It’s all slogans and drivel. ‘Let’s change to electric cars – yeah!’ But where’s the power coming from. Hmmm, don’t ask awkward questions- we’re only interested in the next election – nothing else matters.

      Reply
    4. Mike Wilson
      November 22, 2021

      What shortages has Brexit created?

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        November 22, 2021

        Correct – Brexit is like Climate Change…NOTHING HAS CHANGED, its all a con

        Reply
      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        November 22, 2021

        It has created shortages of Scottish and other UK fish and seafood on the Continent, with the producers and exporters here going bust.

        It has created a shortage of labour, notably in agriculture, hospitality, care, and transport, with all the knock-ons of those.

        To mention just a couple.

        Where have you been the last few months?

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          November 23, 2021

          NHL
          The shortage of our fish in Europe has been caused by the EU playing us up.

          The days of cheap labour imported from poorer nations is over.
          Surely you want improved wages and conditions for UK workers?

          Reply
    5. dixie
      November 22, 2021

      There was a select committee report on UK freeports earlier this year, one element was “It is encouraging that freeport operators will be required to comply with the OECD’s Code of Conduct for Clean Free Trade Zones and that the Government does not intend to authorise the use of freeports for high-value storage.” The latter addresses the major smuggling facilitator.
      Perhaps the concern, for remainiacs, is that it would draw value adding processing and trade away from EU ports.

      Reply
    6. John Hatfield
      November 22, 2021

      “the total failure of Brexit which has brought nothing but red tape, border checks, shortages and the loss of Northern Ireland”
      It’s not Brexit which has caused that, rather lack of Brexit.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        November 22, 2021

        100% correct, I’m awaiting for the brexit date to be published

        Reply
      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        November 22, 2021

        Do explain exactly how?

        Reply
  14. Nottingham Lad Himself
    November 22, 2021

    The ruling elite in this country – the Tories and their social set, that is – talk big but don’t like having to do any actual work.

    They’ve also binned any plans to build a bridge between Scotland and NI, not because it was impossible, but because none of their usual beneficiaries could see a guaranteed short term profit from anything that was easy to conceive.

    Other countries thrive on such engineering challenges on the other hand, notably the Chinese, with their 50km motorway and rail sea bridge – built for about a third of the estimates for the said, and the Scandinavians with theirs.

    I surmise that no one wanted to take on sorting out the freeports, nor even working out a brief for those to whom this work could be outsourced as usual.

    Reply
    1. Peter2
      November 22, 2021

      They are not a ruling elite like the EU, NHL.
      At least they are elected at a general election.

      Reply
    2. dixie
      November 23, 2021

      The death rate of construction workers in China is more than twice that in the UK – cutting safety and corners does cut time to build, but it comes at a very real cost. Are you prepared to take responsibility in lives lost and families destroyed just to compete with China?
      My guess is that as usual you know bugger all about the subject and just assert any old rubbish to snipe at your favourite bogey persons.

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        November 23, 2021

        How about Scandinavia then?

        Reply
        1. dixie
          November 24, 2021

          what about them – do your own research

          Reply
  15. Sir Joe Soap
    November 22, 2021

    From what you’re saying we might as well get rid of our electoral system which seems to be a sham.

    Reply
    1. Peter2
      November 22, 2021

      NHL would I think agree with you.
      He likes the Chinese system

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      Your ‘vote’ is important to us….well for one day every five years

      Reply
  16. Everhopeful
    November 22, 2021

    When I still believed what this govt. said I honestly imagined that we would be a coastal trading nation with huge skyscrapers etc everywhere.
    A horrible prospect I thought. Along with plans for coastal airports.
    Inevitably Johnson managed to devise something even worse.

    Reply
  17. Everhopeful
    November 22, 2021

    PEOPLE “ need to be freed to succeed”.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      Agree – we’re far from ‘the land of the free’

      Reply
  18. Everhopeful
    November 22, 2021

    Personally I think JR should be a one man cabinet.
    All functions rolled into one!
    The things this lot have spun and speculated about.
    All coming to nought.
    They couldn’t run a cold rice pudding!
    But then…I guess they are only following orders?

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      I’ve said it since Cameron, this government counld’ve achieved more just by doing ‘nothing’

      Reply
  19. Bryan Harris
    November 22, 2021

    Off-topic, sorry, but still a very serious question on the subject of Parliamentary procedures, directed at our informed host.

    Apart from a vague process – even now the subject of some debate – to recall MPs by constituents, are there any powers that can be used by the public to censor or remove from office a minister that is seen to be working against the best interests of the country?

    What powers does the Queen still have to close Parliament down, and how do we petition her?

    Elections give us no control over ministers or the government as a whole. Once in power it seems they think they can do anything they please with no regard to our wishes!

    Reply Public opinion transmitted via MPs can make or break Ministers in the Commons.

    Reply
    1. Bryan Harris
      November 22, 2021

      Thank you ….. but very few MPs take comments seriously from constituents – the complaint being that most MPs are aligned with party and government, and will not rock the boat.

      We badly need some other way to stop a minister over-reaching himself

      Reply
  20. alan jutson
    November 22, 2021

    I really do not know what is worse.
    Being frustrated but being so far away that there is absolutely nothing the average voter can do about it, because even at election time we are given no real choice.
    Or
    Being so close to events, and being completely aware of what is going on, what needs to happen, but who’s thoughts and ideas are being constantly ignored.

    Either way it is so frustrating looking at what is going on, and is being proposed, when many of the the solutions are so obvious.
    The list of failures, inaction, “U” turns, and fantasy policies is getting longer and longer, now day by day.

    Just remember who put the Chancellor in his position and why. !

    Reply
  21. Andy
    November 22, 2021

    There’s an interesting narrative in the Tory press about Covid in Europe. Unquestionably some countries – particularly in east and Central Europe – have got it wrong. They vaccinated too slowly, they did not vaccinate enough people and they eased restrictions too quickly coming into winter.

    But let’s not kid ourselves here. Germany – one of the countries mentioned – has still fully vaccinated a bigger % of its population than we have of ours. Its case levels are rising but are still not much higher than ours have been for several months.

    But there has been a different strategy here. Our government has accepted high infection levels and appears content with 150 deaths a day. To put that in perspective – it is a Boeing 737 full of people every day. It is one and a half Hillsborough’s every day. It is two Grenfell Towers every day.

    But it is not on the front pages. It does not lead the news bulletins. The government assumes people do not care. And maybe they don’t.

    The UK’s Covid victims are not dying in plane clashes, stadium crushes or burning buildings. They are mostly elderly. They are mostly vaccinated. They are mostly dying alone in their beds. Unable to breathe. It is a horrible way to die.

    European countries did not tolerate this. We have. Appalling really.

    Reply
    1. Peter2
      November 22, 2021

      Nice to see your change of tone young Andy.
      You are slowly beginning to realise after months of your denigration of the UK’s efforts things have not gone so well in Eurooe.

      Reply
    2. a-tracy
      November 25, 2021

      Thanks for that Andy my father in law died last week in the hospital alone with covid after having all his jabs, nice to have that picture of him struggling to breathe like you said a horrible way to die. Perhaps it really is time you start to think before you politicise everything and hate on the aged all the time.

      Reply
  22. The Prangwizard
    November 22, 2021

    Another case of Sir John defending the deceitful ‘Boris’ who believes in nothing more than promoting himself and the Tory party. He will say anything and then care not if if goes nowhere. But Sir John blames others to mislead us.

    If ‘Boris’ had any honesty and courage he would push through these anouncements but he is without both and our economy, sovereignty and security continues its destruction under his leadership and Sir John’s loyalty and support.

    Reply
  23. jerry
    November 22, 2021

    “I read that the Treasury first delayed them, then watered them down. Apparently officials ignored the enthusiasm of the PM and the one time enthusiasm of the Chancellor”

    So yet another example of weak govt, why didn’t the Chancellor simply over-rule Treasury civil servants, or is this just another example of what appears to be a trend now, as seen currently with the social care Bill, ill-though through big ideas announced to the world as policy by govt, only then to be rowed back upon once the legislation is considered in detail at the drafting stage or when it reaches Parliament?

    Our host asked yesterday “Who is in charge”, who indeed….

    Reply
  24. Donna
    November 22, 2021

    The Treasury only watered down the proposals for Free Ports because the First Lord of the Treasury (Johnson) and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sunak) agreed and/or allowed it to happen. Perhaps Sir John could ask them why they did that ….. and let us know.

    As a proper Conservative Prime Minister once said “Advisers advise; Ministers decide.” But not in this pathetic, pretendy-Conservative Government, obviously.

    It appears to have been far more important to them to waste time, energy and political capital propagandising about Climate Change and announcing their plans to punish “the little people” for their carbon usage, whilst participating in the hypocritical Elite Boondoggle in Glasgow.

    Reply
  25. majorfrustration
    November 22, 2021

    Sir John – please do give you fellow MPs a feel for the majority opinions on this Blog. I would mot want them to say they did not know – otherwise its goodbye for a considerable number of them and a Labour government

    Reply
  26. John Miller
    November 22, 2021

    I, like many others, feel that you answered the main question of today’s post, yesterday…

    Reply
  27. Micky Taking
    November 22, 2021

    What a wonderful Government we have, Midas in reverse.

    Reply
  28. Lester_Cynic
    November 22, 2021

    STOP PRESS!

    Bunter announces that all new homes will have charging points for Electric Vehicles!

    The man is demented, there won’t be enough power to keep us warm never mind anything else….

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      Next it will be loud speakers announcing ‘Light Out in 10 Minutes’, Stalin would be so proud

      Reply
  29. Aden
    November 22, 2021

    Make the whole of the uk a free port

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      Excellent Idea

      Reply
    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      November 22, 2021

      As far as our biggest trading partner by far was concerned, it always was, up until brexit.

      Wasn’t it?

      Reply
  30. Denis Cooper
    November 22, 2021

    Here we go again:

    https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2021/11/22/news/campaigners-at-border-call-for-ni-protocol-to-be-protected-2514920/

    “Campaigners at border call for NI Protocol to be protected”

    Caption to the picture:

    “A mock customs post is set up with protesters from Border Communities Against Brexit.”

    And the customs are “British Customs”, even though:

    1. The UK government has never expressed any intention of setting up “British Customs” posts.

    2. On the contrary, it is embedded in UK law that the UK government would never do any such thing except with the agreement of the EU, which de facto also means with the agreement of the Irish government:

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/16/section/10

    “(b) create or facilitate border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after exit day which feature physical infrastructure, including border posts, or checks and controls, that did not exist before exit day and are not in accordance with an agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU.”

    3. It was actually the Irish Free State that first set up customs posts, not the UK – 48 minutes in, here:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000wnm3/the-road-to-partition-series-1-episode-2

    Nobody in the UK government is going to do anything to counter this hostile propaganda:

    https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/11/21/who-is-in-charge/#comment-1277735

    Reply
    1. acorn
      November 22, 2021

      Give it up Denis. The law in the UK is whatever the government of the day says the law is. The UK has no written constitution that defines how the country will be managed; or, how that unwritten constitution can be changed. Fortunately, the UK has a Civil Service that knows how the economy actually works. It does its best to stop amateur politicians from making dumb policy mistakes. Alas, they can’t defend themselves publicly against dumb and dumber critics on social media.

      The UK issued its post-Brexit global tariff schedule (UKGT) last year which lowered tariffs on intermediate goods. This made “freeports” somewhat irrelevant. This government’s theory is as follows:-

      “If the duty on a finished product is lower than that on the component parts, a company could benefit by importing components duty free, manufacture the final product in the Freeport, and then pay the duty at the rate of the finished product when it enters the UK’s domestic market.” The reality is as follows:-

      ”… introducing Freeports in the UK is unlikely to generate any significant benefits to businesses in terms of duty savings. Tariffs on intermediates tend to be low in the UK, typically lower than tariffs on final goods, which rules out duty savings in most cases. In addition, in those sectors for which we have been able to identify any [excise duty] inversion, the benefits are small and would not have any material impact on the UK economy.” (UKTPO: Tariff inversion in UK Freeports offers little opportunity for duty savings)

      The UK made a constitutional sized change to leave the EU on a 52 to 48 vote. In most other modern democracies, that would have needed a super majority vote; a two thirds or three quarters majority vote to change an article of a written constitution. As Lord Hailsham pronounced decades back, the UK is an elected dictatorship.

      Reply
      1. Denis Cooper
        November 24, 2021

        So what am I supposed to give up?

        These campaigners have done very well: for more than five years they have had their false images and messages repeatedly reproduced in the mass media of the UK and the Irish Republic and beyond, and quite likely they have come before the eyes of US politicians including each of two Presidents, and I have never seen or heard a single rebuttal from any member of the UK government or Parliament, leave aside civil servants of whom there are around 8000 in the Cabinet Office alone:

        https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/11/21/who-is-in-charge/#comment-1277735

        “The new Response Unit will be run by civil servants in the Cabinet Office and will ensure that “the public and businesses are not being alarmed by scare stories or falsehoods “, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.”

        October 8 2016:

        https://www.rte.ie/news/2016/1008/822475-border-rallies-brexit/

        “Brexit protesters set up mock checkpoint on border”

        November 20 2021:

        https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2021/1120/1262156-border-protests/

        “Border protests held amid concerns over UK threat to invoke Article 16”

        Reply
  31. Bryan Harris
    November 22, 2021

    I read that the Treasury first delayed them, then watered them down.

    It seems that it is the power behind the throne that drives so much of what happens politically…..

    When are the politicians going to take control from the unelected ‘officials’?

    Reply
  32. Bytheway
    November 22, 2021

    Just wondering what ports you have in mind – airports or sea ports or a mixture
    of both? and located where? to the north or to the south – where? then to set up free ports we need to think about setting up free zones to guard the free ports – but as we have taken back control all of this should be easy for us now.. sigh..

    But am afraid it is all too late for this now.. the horse has bolted.. there are plenty of free ports around the world.. we need some fresh thinking on this more than just saying free trade ports are needed

    Reply
  33. BW
    November 22, 2021

    Dover seems to be a free port.
    Do you think you could bring a bill to Parliament to restore the death penalty. Don’t tell me you disagree with it. We can’t do it because we are in the ECHR. So much for our independence. We can’t deport illegals because salivating lawyers rely on the ECHR to earn a living.
    If a dog bites someone we put it down.
    Why do we expect better morals from our dogs. Just imagine the saving if we emptied Broadmoor. and turned it into flats.

    Reply
  34. Grennell
    November 22, 2021

    Today it is free ports – last month it was AUKUS and on it goes grasping at straws. Are you aware that one of the American attack nuclear submarines hit a submerged bank in the south china sea last month causing injury to many sailors and had to go to Guam for repairs where the captain and senior officers were relieved – and this despite many pointing out the unsuitability of using subs for this work in south china sea and still we persist now with Liz Truss inviting countries from the region to attend in Liverpool for G7 foreign ministers meeting – its all nonsense – and just like free trade ports going nowhere.

    Reply
    1. Peter2
      November 22, 2021

      I cannot understand Grennell, how you reckon a useful trade deal has to be a failure because a submarine has an accident and then as a result you can conclude by denigrating 5a G7 meeting because it is hosted by Liz Truss.
      Could we have a little more explanation please?

      Reply
      1. Grennell
        November 23, 2021

        The G7 foreign ministers meeting is not so much about trade as about building support for AUKUS.. but from what I read not many of the SE Asian countries invited are taken in or are going to attend – when they look they see only AUKUS and are not impressed.

        AUKUS depends on submarines being able to operate by stealth in dangerous waters full of reefs and seamounts badly charted where surface craft stick to the well known tried and tested sea routes – the chinese know this we all know it except for the blockheads in the foreign office.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          November 24, 2021

          You think trade between Australia and UK (and presumably trade between Australia and the rest of the world) which has been going on for many decades quite successfully, will now only succeed if the ships are protected by a fleet of submarines.
          Is that a rational position Grennell?

          Reply
  35. Billy Elliot
    November 22, 2021

    I read few of the comments and I am puzzled.
    Our freeports, our policy etc but still it is EU’s fault?
    Or remainders or “pro EU CS”?

    What the freak?

    It really is always somebody else isn’t it?

    Reply
  36. X-Tory
    November 22, 2021

    Sir John, let’s analyse this. There are two problems here: (i) the delays and (ii) the watered-down implementation. I have discussed both of these previously, but clearly I need to do so again.

    1. The delays: The problem here is the government’s retarded obsession with ‘consultations’ and the insanely long timescales allowed. Firstly, why consult at all? If you know what you want you should demonstrate self-confidence and just do it, not ‘consult’ like a weak-minded moron. The government should NEVER consult on *whether* to do something or not. The only consultation permissible is *how* to do something, and for this a timescale of 28 days for replies is sufficient. If people cannot respond within 28 days they clearly don’t really care. If you found the delays in implementing freeports frustrating imagine how I feel about the delay in liberalising the use of CRISPR; as a scientist, this is one of the most dazzling and exciting opportunities presented by Brexit and we have STILL done done this!!!

    2. The watered-down implemetation: This brings us back to our discussion yesterday about ‘who is in charge?’ I told you then that the government needs to change the rules so that ministers can hire and fire civil servants at will. With freeports we have had a classic example of civil servants frustrating a policy they don’t like – even with a minister who genuinely supports it. Sunak has proved how weak and useless he is, and anyone who thinks he would make a suitable prime minster is obviously not paying attention! A strong minister can force thigs through an unwilling civil service, and if officials complain of ‘bullying’ then that just proves they need to be sacked and replaced. But Boris, and the government as a whole, are too weak and pathetic and stupid to make these changes , so NOTHING is going to improve.

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      November 22, 2021

      You employ consultants so that you can blame them when your intrinsically-flawed idea does not offer much benefit, as it never ever could have done.

      It’s pretty simple really.

      Reply
    2. X-Tory
      November 22, 2021

      Having explained just how stupid the government is to be constantly “consulting” rather than DOING, I have come across this nugget from Boris’s idiotic, rambling speech to the CBI today: “we are investing not just in big new nuclear plants but in small nuclear reactors as well, and we are consulting on classifying this essential technology as “green investment” so that we can get more investment flowing in and ahead of the EU”. Oh dear God, just get rid of this moron! Why is he “consulting” on this if it is clearly advantageous to do it? JUST DO IT!!! Is it any wonder I have given up on this cretin?

      Reply
  37. Excalibur
    November 22, 2021

    Where is the imagination and enterprise vision ?

    Where indeed, JR. So many opportunities to flourish economically. Oh, for a leadership of visionaries like yourself. So many decisions so obviously wrong. We just stagger on from crisis to crisis.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      November 22, 2021

      I fear your assessment is correct

      Reply
  38. Original Richard
    November 22, 2021

    “I read that the Treasury first delayed them, then watered them down. Apparently officials ignored the enthusiasm of the PM and the one time enthusiasm of the Chancellor.”

    Up to 10 Freeports around the UK was a manifesto commitment.

    So who is in charge?

    Even worse is the commitment to control our borders when we now have up to 1000+/day of illegal migrants arriving composed of mainly young men of fighting age with a different culture and no ID and who instead of being detained securely for processing are given 4 star hotel accommodation, free healthcare, £40/week pocket money and allowed to freely roam our streets.

    Reply
  39. Richard Jenkins
    November 22, 2021

    Dead loss treasury civil servants trot out deadweight tax loss argument once mor

    Reply
  40. Edwardm
    November 22, 2021

    It raises the question about who runs this country. Unelected un-entrepreneurial civil servants or the government. The government needs to get a grip and make the civil service do what it’s told to do – not the opposite. And any senior civil servant who persists in frustrating the government should be dismissed.
    Anything that helps new business to prosper and for entrepreneurs to succeed needs to be done. Freeports will result in spin off to the rest of the country since they will need local services.

    Reply
  41. Bytheway
    November 22, 2021

    All of this talk in the House about the ‘illegal’ movement of people across the channel is nonsense – question is – do the honourable members not realise that we have been doing the same to other countries around the world for centuries – jeez listening to Priti you’d think butter wouldn’t melt

    Reply
  42. hefner
    November 22, 2021

    It would make more sense if for once Sir John were not taking us for granted (that’s the second version of the original word that would not pass muster on this blog) and tell us why and how these new freeports would be better than those we had between 1984 and 2012 in Liverpool, Southampton, Tilbury, Sheerness and Prestwick Airport, given that in 2012 it was a Conservative Government that let them been discontinued.

    Reply
  43. hefner
    November 22, 2021

    Oops, sorry: be discontinued.

    Reply
    1. Peter2
      November 22, 2021

      Have I got this right heffy?
      Do you think it is wrong to re address the lack of support for free ports back in 2012, them now alter policy and say that was a mistake?
      Do you not want encouragement to the benefits of free ports?
      Jerry please free to join in.

      Reply
      1. hefner
        November 23, 2021

        I was just wondering how the new free ports would differ from the ones we had previously, and would have wanted Sir John to bring more details on the topic, as I guess he expects the new ones to be better than the old ones.
        I cannot help but note that your comment does not bring any clarity whatsoever on these new free ports. .

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          November 24, 2021

          Clarity?
          I wasnt doing a post on the advantages of free ports heffy
          Just wondering why your argument was so weak.
          PS
          I think free ports may help develop trade and bring some improvements to UK prosperity.

          Reply
          1. hefner
            November 26, 2021

            P2, indeed you were not. I had no argument pro or against free ports, was just asking how the new ones would differ from the old ones.
            Why were the old ones not helping develop trade and bring improvements to UK prosperity?
            Is that such a complicated question that you are befuddled by it?

  44. Micky Taking
    November 22, 2021

    To be discussed – by MPs … will the sheep just roll over and pretend ‘that sounds like the problem we had for years is now solved’?

    People will no longer pay more than £86,000 towards their care during their lifetime.
    This starts in October 2023, the £86,000 limit, or cap, only covers personal care, such as help washing or dressing. It does not cover living costs such as food, energy bills or accommodation.
    After people reach the £86,000 cap, personal care will be paid for by local authorities.

    So families paying for loved ones will have a limited cost on about 5% of the Care Home bill.
    The age-old can well and truly kicked down the road, but will it be silent, of full of ball bearings making a racket? Happy with that Sir John?

    Reply
    1. Micky Taking
      November 22, 2021

      So given a house value of £500,000, common in the SE. £86,000 max for assisting to toilet, washing and dressing ought to last quite a few years?
      However, the £414,000 can still be legally forced off the persons’s estate for room charge, food etc. That will not last many years at all with the present charges levied.
      But as Johnson says – very generous.
      Mind the rush of house owners drawing equity and booking fantastic cruises.

      Reply
    2. formula57
      November 23, 2021

      @ Mickey Taking- why is it not right and proper to expect ” living costs such as food, energy bills or accommodation” to be settled by those being fed, warmed or illuminated, or housed? Most people meet those costs themselves though the greater part of their lives, typically though all of adulthood.

      Reply
  45. agricola
    November 22, 2021

    Our is not a Conserrvative government, but it does enjoy the support of a remain civil service. We have a PM that insists we read his lips but then turns our attention to what we read between the lines, the antithesis of our lip reading. That which applies to Freeports applies to Social Care, their word cannot be trusted, bullshit personified.

    Reply
  46. Micky Taking
    November 22, 2021

    So Mr Johnson showed his flair with speeches today, at least drawing parallels with his time in office.
    Shuffling papers, changing what he said he was going to say, losing his way, talking about that which entertains children, bringing dead dictators into the speech.
    He must have had the audience asking for their money back, we would like our General Election back.

    Reply
  47. XY
    November 22, 2021

    Sunak is just another MP promoted beyond his level of competence.

    He has no idea of the Laffer curve way of thinking, it is clear that he’s been captured by the Treasury twits – or was already of the same mindset – whereby more tax can only come our way by increasing taxes and rates.

    Promoting economic activity is what it’s all about, as shown by the Weimar Rebublic and discovered accidentally by JFK’s administration (they expected a lower tax take, they were surprised when it went up after they cut rates).

    For God’s sake, get us a Chancellor who understand the basics of economnics – a set of civil servants too.

    Oh – and someone whose father in law doesn’t have a consultancy which has a vested interest in his draconian tax changes.

    Reply
  48. Timewas
    November 22, 2021

    As a nation we’re in the wrong groove playing the piano on the black notes only- it all looks the same but it’s not. Boris is a disaster as PM just as he was as foreign secretary.

    Reply
  49. hefner
    November 22, 2021

    The speech available at http://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-at-the-cbi-conference-22-november-2021 deserves to be read. Then decide for yourself instead of relying on somebody else’s take on it.

    Reply
    1. dixie
      November 23, 2021

      Quite a good speech. but it should not be surprising that a party appeals to people whose life ambition is to make lots of money and retire somewhere south are reactionary about the sort of goals in that speech.
      That speech wasn’t written for them, it was written for those who would rather aim to leave a minimal footprint on the planet and see colonizing Mars as a reasonable objective.

      Reply
  50. Lindsay McDougall
    November 24, 2021

    The arguement for reducing our corporation tax to the same 15% that the Republic of Ireland levies is attractive, but would it be as effective as you assume? The Republic has the additional attraction that it is an English speaking country inside the EU and the Euro Zone. Is there any way, short of sucking it and seeing, to quantify these two effects? Some sort of financial modelling, perhaps? Does the Chancellor have enough data and enough bright young men to create such a model?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *