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Mon, 3 August 2020

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Rishi Sunak to cut taxes and regulations in 10 new freeports in post-Brexit bid to revive economy

Rishi Sunak to cut taxes and regulations in 10 new freeports in post-Brexit bid to revive economy

The UK is set to establish so-called freeports where some taxes and tariffs will not apply (PA)

1 min read

Rishi Sunak is set to bring in tax cuts and overhaul planning rules at 10 new freeports around the UK as part of plans to boost the country’s economy.

The new measures, revealed in the Sunday Telegraph, will likely come into force within a year of Britain’s departure from the EU.

Bidding for towns and cities hoping to become freeports will be launched in the Chancellor’s autumn Budget later this year, with successful sites confirmed by the spring. 

Sites picked will be designated as legally outside the UK’s customs territory, meaning goods imported, manufactured or re-exported would not incur national tariffs or import VAT. 

Mr Sunak will also introduce localised tax cuts including research and development tax credits cuts to stamp duty and business rates, and local relaxations of planning laws in the new freeports.

The ports will reportedly be “fully operational” within 18 months of the UK leaving the bloc at the end of this year.

The news comes as Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove pledged to spend £705m on the UK’s borders and launch a new public information campaign to get the country ready for Brexit.

Mr Gove said that 500 Border Force staff will be hired and new control posts will be created as part of plans to “make sure our borders are ready for full independence”.

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