And so do we take over the world…..

Liz Truss, the new trade secretary, will promise to create up to 10 new tax-free zones at ports and airports in a move condemned by Labour as setting up tax havens and money-laundering opportunities along Britain’s coasts.
Those advising Truss on a new free port panel will include Eamonn Butler, the director of the rightwing, libertarian Adam Smith Institute, and Tom Clougherty, the head of tax at the Thatcherite thinktank the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS).

Tom, of course, used to be at the ASI. Thus does the march through the institutions continue.

As to the actual free ports – they’re really just large bonded warehouses and no one has been complaining about those.

13 thoughts on “And so do we take over the world…..”

  1. I’d use a bonded warehouse for stuff that did not need to officially enter UK in terms of taxes. Say importing 50 forklifts to UK and exporting 48 to the US, for those 48 if processed just through a bonded warehouse there would not need to be UK import duties paid. Officially they didn’t enter UK, they transhipped.

  2. “As to the actual free ports – they’re really just large bonded warehouses and no one has been complaining about those.”

    “Might more manufacturing / processing occur in a freeport than in a bonded warehouse?”

    This is interesting?

    (it’s written by Dr Madsen Pirie, current President of the ASI.)

    In 1981 the Adam Smith Institute proposed freeports for the UK, and six were established, but their success was thwarted by both the EU and the UK Treasury. The EU would not permit any easing of their constricting regulations, and the Treasury here would not ease VAT or tariffs. There was no relief from the paperwork needed for imports and exports, and instead of the freeport management handling relations with the UK authorities, every individual trader had to do so. The freeports were effectively just reduced to being bonded warehouses, where goods could be stored, and only be taxed when they left.

    This is not what freeports should be about. The aim is that goods coming into them from abroad can be processed to add value, and can then be exported, without being subject to domestic taxes, tariffs and regulations. It is as if this were done overseas, instead of in designated enclaves around some of our ports. The difference is jobs. When freeports can bring in raw materials and turn them into finished goods for export, this creates British jobs. If it is done in freeports that escape the heavy hand of state interference, it can be done more cheaply and more rapidly, and make these goods more competitive on world markets.

  3. We should make the whole of Northern Ireland a Free Trade Zone and have no customs officers there at all. Stuff merely transshipped would, on arrival on the mainland, be subject to tariffs but not stuff originating from, or significantly processed in, Northern Ireland.
    Varadkar should have the choice of creating a border with customs posts or not doing so.

  4. @john 77 August 2, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    I like that idea.

    Do it in Scotland too – the poison dwarf would be apoplectic.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    If free ports are so good why not make the country a free port?

    Ditto enterprise zones.

  6. “If free ports are so good why not make the country a free port?”

    What – like you mean “go all Singapore on them”… well, indeed…

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