Underwhelming Brexit Secretary fails to back freeport

Today the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, visited Teesport to give a speech on the transition period Britain has with the EU after Brexit day in March 2019.

He claimed Britain would be able to start negotiating trade deals with new countries at the same time as negotiations our future trading relationship with the EU.

Responding to the speech, Anna said:

“This was an underwhelming speech from the Brexit Secretary who could barely hide the divides in his own government, let alone offer any details about how our trading relationship with Europe and the world will look after Brexit. It is pure fantasy to claim we will still have a voice during the transition as we will have resigned from being involved in the decision-making process. People voted to take back control but in reality we will have to accept the rules without having any say in them. As well as having no voice, we also can’t negotiate deals as who would negotiate without knowing what our relationship with Europe will be.

“The minister was also indifferent to our proposal for a Freeport at Teesside, offering only an ‘open mind’ on a scheme which could be transformative for our region’s manufacturing base and attract more much needed investment. Teesside politicians and businesses are fully behind the plan and ready to get to work, but it appears the government are not. I had hoped Mr Davis was coming to Teesside today with an offer of support.  

“Freeports are also not reliant on the UK waiting for Brexit day. There are currently 85 free zones within EU countries, and there were five in the UK until the legislation behind them expired in 2012. We could be taking advantage of a freeport boost now, if only ministers got behind us.”

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