UK International Trade Secretary will announce the creation of 10 freeports and a panel to advise the government on their establishment amid the country’s looming withdrawal from the European Union, which is expected to take place on 31 October, the government said on Friday.
“International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will today (Friday 2 August) announce a new Freeports Advisory Panel to advise the government on the establishment of up to 10 Freeports […] Freeports are hubs for business and enterprise for both manufacturing and services trade. These could be free of unnecessary checks and paperwork, and include customs and tax benefits. These zones reduce costs and bureaucracy, encouraging manufacturing businesses to set up or re-shore”, the government said in a statement.
According to the statement, the government will soon release the details on how ports and airports can apply for acquiring the freeport status.
The panel to advise the government on the freeports will include ministers from the International Trade Department and the Treasury, as well as experts.
The government insisted that the freeports would “take full advantage of post-Brexit opportunities, including increased trade with the USA and fast-growing Asian markets as we sign our first free trade deals with global partners”.
In 2016, UK citizens voted to leave the European Union. The country was initially set to withdraw from the bloc last March but UK lawmakers have not endorsed a Brexit deal agreed upon by London and Brussels, so the deadline was moved to 31 October.