The UK government has announced plans to create up to 10 free ports, also known as free trade zones, after Brexit.
How many jobs would this create, according to the UK government?
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss claimed during a visit to Teeside on Friday that the plan would create "thousands of jobs" and was an integral part of the government's post-Brexit trade plans.She said the government planned to create "the world's most advanced free port model" as soon as possible. She added, "We will have a truly independent trade policy after we leave the EU on October 31."
What is a free port?
The government has announced the creation of a Freeports Advisory Panel, whose membership includes tax and technology experts, who will help set up the zones from bids submitted by ports and airports around the country.The zones will enable goods to be imported free of customs duties and be held or processed before being re-exported. Free ports can also be used to import raw materials and make finished goods for export.About 135 countries, predominantly in the Far East, have free trade zones. There are about 250 in the US and 80 in the European Union, primarily in nations that joined the bloc after 2004.Teeside and the Port of Tyne in northeast England, Milford Haven in Wales and London Gateway are among areas that have so far expressed an interest in becoming freeports, the government said.Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a speech that free ports would provide thousands of jobs for people in "left-behind areas".The new Brexit-supporting Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said in a statement on Friday, "We are exploring free ports as an innovative way to drive growth and support thousands of high-skilled jobs across the UK.