We are using the transition period to ensure that the UK rises to the challenges of leaving the European Union while being ready to take advantage of all the benefits. Work on ports preparedness is being led by the Cabinet Office’s border delivery group. I remind the House and onlookers that tonight is the closure of our consultation on the new UK global tariff.
Can the Minister ensure that virtual free ports will be considered during the free ports bidding process, so that we can protect existing jobs in the north-east as well as creating new ones?
The hon. Member makes an extremely good point, and that is one of the points of the free port policy. We launched the consultation last month with the Command Paper, and it closes on