Big Brexit freedom bonus – First UK Freeport in Teesside goes operational today

“Having left the EU we now have the freedom to do things differently,” says Lord Frost

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2021

Significant boost for North-East: in jobs, in trade, and in investment, thanks to Brexit

In a major announcement overnight, the Government has declared the UK’s first post-Brexit Freeport officially open as of today.

Teesside Freeport has begun operations this morning (19 Nov 2021) putting the region at the forefront of manufacturing and innovation, green energy, and boosting jobs, trade and investment.

Lord Frost was jubilant overnight

“Having left the European Union we now have the freedom to do things differently, including setting up new Freeports to turbo-charge our trade with the world’s fastest growing markets.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Teesside and it shows that we are maximising the opportunities of Brexit to create well-paid jobs and drive growth right across the UK. As well as more Freeports, we want to go further and faster to create a competitive, regulatory environment which supports innovation and boosts inward investment.”

- Lord Frost, London, 19 Nov 2021

And Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:

“The day has finally come – after years of campaigning and shouting about the transformative potential of a freeport for Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, we’re at last open for business.

We’re throwing our doors open to the world, showing businesses that we’re a truly outward-looking, international region ready to welcome the cutting-edge sectors of the future. We’re already reaping the benefits of the Teesside Freeport with the likes of GE who are creating thousands of good-quality well paid jobs for local workers.”

- Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley, Teesside, 19 Nov 2021

Teeing up post-Brexit growth in the Tees Valley

In March of this year the Tees Valley was announced as one of the first places to get Freeport Status under the new Government policy to create Freeports across the country.

Credit: Tees Valley Combined Authority

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

UK's first new post-Brexit Freeport - Teeside

  • Covers 4,500 acres
  • Size of over 2,500 football pitches
  • Creating up to 18,000 jobs
  • Generating up to £3.2bn to local economy

Covering 4,500 acres, the Teesside Freeport is the largest in the UK. To put the size into perspective, it is equivalent to 2,550 football pitches. It is expected to create more than 18,000 mostly skilled jobs and provide a £3.2billion boost to the local economy over the next five years.

Close to the North Sea, Teesside is ideally placed to serve the offshore wind sector and with its excellent transport links it will be a gateway to global markets via air, sea, rail and road.

Today the UK’s first new Freeport on Teesside officially goes operational.

Map credit: Tees Valley Combined Authority (Click to enlarge)

Seven additional Freeports are in the pipeline

Seven other Freeports are currently approved in principle and are going through various stages of development and formal approvals. These include:-

  • East Midlands Airport
  • Felixstowe & Harwich (known as Freeport East)
  • Humber
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Plymouth & South Devon
  • Solent
  • Thames

For both the Humber and the Thames sites, tax approval has gone live this morning, putting them well on the way to Teesside’s status.

What is a Freeport?

Freeports are secure customs zones located at ports where business can be carried out inside a country’s land border, but where different customs rules apply. They can reduce administrative burdens and tariff controls, provide relief from duties and import taxes, and ease tax and planning regulations. They also attract both UK and foreign investment.

While located geographically within a country, they essentially exist outside its borders for tax purposes. Under EU regulations this would have been impossible.

One important aspect is that the setting up of new Freeports could be another cog in the fast-spinning wheel of the turbo-charging of the UK’s trade with the world’s fastest growing markets, which all lie outside the European Union.


Impeccable timing - coincidence, or...?

What impeccable timing by the Government. Only hours ahead of Lord Frost’s meeting with EU Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič today about the Northern Ireland Protocol, Lord Frost has delivered a killer blow to the EU.

The UK has sent another clear message to Brussels that it is now exerting its post-Brexit independence.

Freeports have existed historically within the EU for many years, but none has created a splash and they are all governed under EU laws and red tape. Teesside is brand new and will operate under UK laws designed to encourage growth, trade, investment, and crucially jobs.

If we didn’t know better, we might almost think Lord Frost had planned the timing of this announcement on purpose….

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[ Sources: Cabinet Office | Tees Valley Combined Authority ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Fri 19 Nov 2021

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