MP for Wokingham John Redwood has insisted the UK will be able to become a leading trading partner with countries outside the EU with a no deal scenario at the end of the December 31 deadline is now looking likely. He added Britain could take advantage of creating Freeports across the nation, which would mean firms could import goods without paying tariffs or face normal customs checks.
Mr Redwood told Express.co.uk: “Bring on more Freeports!
“We need new areas freed of restrictions to enterprise and with low taxes to harness the UK’s potential as a trading and manufacturing nation.
“Let’s add more value to raw materials and components we import by building factories close to ports and using our natural advantages as a global trading nation.
“Let’s for example have more fish processing and meal preparation next to our fishing ports.”
Last month the Treasury started a bidding process from cities and towns across England for the first seven post-Brexit Freeports, which will be built next year.
The Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk and Harwich International in Essex have both submitted a bid, as well as Teesside in the north east.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak previously praised the prospect of using Freeports once the transition period ends on December 31.
He said: “Our new Freeports will create national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce, levelling up communities across the UK, creating new jobs, and turbo-charging our economic recovery.
“As we embrace our new opportunities as an independent trading nation, we want to deliver lasting prosperity to the British people and Freeports will be key to delivering this.”
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“Our new Freeports will create national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce, levelling up communities across the UK, creating new jobs, and turbo-charging our economic recovery.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added he has put Teesside forward to become a Freeport and help the UK “look outward at the rest of the world” when trading, rather than relying on the UK.
Mr Houchen told Express.co.uk:“Teesside is at the front-of-the-line to secure Freeport status.
“It was a policy made on Teesside for Teesside and as Mayor, I will soon be submitting the official bid on behalf of the region.
“ Being home to the UK’s first and biggest Freeport means as Global Britain once again looks outward to the rest of the world, Teesside is ideally placed to capture the reshoring of manufacturing thanks to the amazing skills of local people.
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“Throughout our history Teesside has been a pioneer that faces out to the world, and with Freeports, Teesside will once again be charting a course for the rest of the UK to follow.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today it is “very, very likely” that the UK will not strike a trade deal with the EU.
This will leave it open to find other trading routes as the country will leave the bloc on World Trade Organisation terms.
Mr Johnson during a visit to Blyth in Northumberland this morning: “We are always hopeful, and as you know the negotiations are continuing and we’ve got our teams still out there in Brussels.
“And if there is a big offer, a big change in what they are saying then I must say that I’ve yet to see it.
“Unfortunately at the moment, as you know, there are two key things where we just can’t seem to make progress and that’s this kind of ratchet clause they’ve got in to keep the UK locked in to whatever they want to do in terms of legislation, which obviously doesn’t work.
“And then there is the whole issue of fish where we’ve got to be able to take back control of our waters. So there is a way to go – we’re hopeful that progress can be made.
“But I’ve got to tell that from where I stand now, here in Blyth, it is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK, and we’d be able to do exactly what we want from January 1 – it obviously would be different from what we’d set out to achieve but I have no doubt this country can get ready and, as I say, come out on World Trade terms.”