Free Zones: Costs

Treasury written question – answered on 10th March 2021.

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Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost of establishing the eight proposed freeports (a) for each freeport and (b) in total.

Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the potential savings to businesses of using freeports over traditional ports and border points.

Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he will take to ensure that the proposed freeports will be adequately resourced with fully-trained staff.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The government is pleased to have announced the locations of 8 new English Freeports at Budget.

Freeports will be introduced as soon as possible and successful bidders will be confirmed subject to a business case review, agreement of governance arrangements, and the fulfilment of the appropriate authorisations.  The government will be working with bidders on these through 2021 and expects Freeports to be operational in late 2021.

As part of this process there will be an assessment of the costs of benefits of specific sites within the Freeport.

As part of the authorisation of Freeport customs sites, operators will need to demonstrate adequate staffing arrangements.

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