Fresh call to create Freeport next to East Midlands Airport

July 22, 2020

A fresh call has been made to create a tax-free port near East Midlands Airport to help Britain stay ahead of the game post-Brexit.

As the country faces the huge economic consequences of a the lockdown along with a potential no-deal Breixt later this year Nottinghamshire Tory MP Ruth Edwards has said she wants the airport to be at the centre of a Freeport.

 

Under the plans the zone - possibly one of 10 around the UK - would be treated as an independent jurisdiction for customs purposes. It would see no tariffs, import VAT or excise paid on goods from overseas unless they leave the Freeport and enter the UK’s domestic market.

 

A company could import components duty free, manufacture the final product in the Freeport, and export the finished product paying no tariffs on the components.

 

The zone could also have special rates of stamp duty on land, research and development tax credits, employer National Insurance Contributions and VAT as well as different planning rules.

 

Freeports have existed for centuries, primarily at sea and river trading cities, but have attracted criticism.

 

Earlier this year the EU said it was cracking down on 82 within the EU after identifying that their special tax status had aided the financing of terrorism, money laundering and organised crime.

 

The Government has said it would like to see as many as 10 of the zones built, with at least one built inland.

 

Ms Edwards, the MP for Rushcliffe, said: “We not only have the second largest freight airport in the country but we also have great potential with our rail and road connectivity.

 

“This site is a fantastic location for a Freeport as it connects to 90 percent of the UK's population within four hours.

 

“It is perfectly placed in the middle of the country to connect with other sites and become a regional centre for innovation and job creation.

“It also allows us to focus our recovery on innovative and green technologies welcoming businesses in the green economy which will help the UK meet its net zero target.”

 

A group of Conservative MPs have met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay to lend their support, saying it would boost economic growth within the East Midlands by improving export potential and connectivity to the rest of the country and overseas.

 

The Leicestershire site benefits is close to the centre of the national motorway network, with a rail logistics hub nearby. The 700-acre SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway, is also under construction directly to the north.

 

Earlier in the spring Kevin Harris, chairman of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), also backed the idea. He said: “Freeports have been on the horizon for some time and the LLEP together with D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership have already discussed the options of developing a freeport in our region.

 

“A freeport in the East Midlands makes a huge amount of sense.

 

"Our region is already a commercial hub for the whole of the UK, with East Midlands Airport, the UK’s largest dedicated freight airport and the seventh-largest in Europe located at the heart of our region.

 

"We are home to the world’s largest cargo handlers and we have capacity to grow.

 

"Our links between air, road and rail are already world class, and international traders will reap the rewards of our existing sectoral and geographical strengths.”

 

Source: Business Live

 

 

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