Freeports Consultation


TIME: 9:30 am — 11:30 am

While most attention is focused on COVID-19, the 31 December 2020 deadline for the end of the Brexit transition period also looms.

The UK government is currently consulting on the creation of up to 10 “Freeports” to mitigate the impact and maximise opportunities arising from a “hard” Brexit. The consultation paper suggests that Freeports can be, or can include a mix of, sea ports, airports, rail and other transport hubs as well as manufacturing or processing areas. The proposed benefits include not only customs and tariff deferrals and reliefs but also streamlined planning and permitted development procedures.

There will not be a “one size fits all” solution. To work well, a Freeport will have to reflect and serve local economic conditions and activities. Bids for Freeport status will require public-private cooperation, with a clear plan to boost regional economic performance and job security.

Having been extended due to COVID-19, the closing date of the consultation is now 13 July 2020 and the government plans to feed our thoughts on the UK’s plans for Freeports into the policy development process.

Join Womble Bond Dickinson on their webinar to discuss how Freeport status might deliver benefits for the South West, and what would be required for a successful bid.

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