Wales freeport announcement will be made ‘shortly’ says Gove

Secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove told the House of Commons that his department is in negotiations with the Welsh government regarding creating a freeport.

The statement was sparked by a question from Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie, who enquired on Monday as to when a Welsh freeport bidding prospectus could be expected.

“I can confirm that we have had very fruitful negotiations not just with the Scottish government also with the Welsh government,” Gove answered.

“I want to place my record my thanks to Vaughan Gething and other members in the Welsh government,” he continued. “I hope we will be able to make an announcement shortly about the process by which we’ll allocate freeport in Wales.

“I may say that at the moment is for one freeport in Wales, but I do recognise that both South Wales and North Wales have significant potential for freeports in the future.”

Crosbie said afterwards that she was happy with Gove’s answer.

“This was a very positive response by the minister,” she said. “I am pleased we could be close to progress on a freeport or even freeports for North and South Wales – something I, of course, fully support.

“I make no secret I want one on Anglesey and I will continue to make the case for that to happen, but I am actually really pleased the Welsh government is now being far more positive about freeports than before after so many months of inactivity,” Crosbie continued.

“I have said many times we need this stimulus in Wales because it will bring jobs and investment to areas that need it to level up. I look forward to the announcement when it comes.”

Crosbie has been an advocate for a freeport at Holyhead in Anglesey. Plans are currently in the works to build a Brexit customs facility by the Holyhead port.

There are currently eight freeports in England, including one in Liverpool. These freeports are ports where imported goods can enter the country with simplified customs documentation and without paying tariffs. Businesses that are within designated areas in and around the freeport can also make goods using those imports and export them again without having to pay the full tariff on what they imported.

 

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