Major Brexit win: Boris visits £2.5bn freeport project creating 21,000 jobs for economy

Theresa May grills Boris Johnson on Sue Gray report

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On Monday, the Prime Minister visited the Port of Tilbury where the UK’s new port, Tilbury2, has opened. The new port is part of the Thames Freeport project, estimated to create around 21,000 jobs and provide a £2.5 billion boost to the local economy.

Following Mr Johnson’s visit, former MEP David C Bannerman hailed freeports.

Mr Bannerman tweeted: “Freeports are made possible by Brexit and allow UK to compete by removing duties, costs and barriers from goods brought into UK, worked on, then re-exported.

“New jobs created as not able to compete without it.”

Freeports in the UK are a series of Government assigned special economic zones where customs rules such as taxes do not apply until goods leave the specified zone.

The purpose of freeports is to encourage economic activity in the surrounding area and to increase manufacturing.

Two years ago today (January 31), Britain officially enacted the biggest constitutional change in living memory after becoming the first EU member state to leave the bloc.

In the two years since, the UK’s departure from the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union has seen significant disruption to trade, particularly UK exports to the EU.

An exodus of European workers due to the pandemic and tighter immigration rules have contributed to a shortage of workers.

This sparked knock-on effects including the HGV driver shortage, which impacted the 2021 fuel shortage in Britain.

However, released from strict EU trading laws, the UK has been free to pursue its own trade deals.

So far, the UK has signed trade deals and agreements in principle with 69 countries and one with the EU.

However, the majority of these are “rollover deals”, copying the terms of the deals already existing when the UK was an EU member.

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Since Britain voted to leave the EU there have been significant issues with fishing rights and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Sharing the UK’s only land border with an EU nation, and with a delicate socio-political balance, it has been crucial to get it right.

Commentators argue the issue has a major impact on the demise of Theresa May as Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson has also faced intense criticism on the issue.

The Protocol keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods and EU customs rules are enforced at its ports, a diversion from the rest of the UK.

The Prime Minister was also handed another bombshell last year after Brexit minister Lord Frost resigned after months of talks with EU vice president Maros Sefcovic.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss took over key responsibilities over Brexit negotiations.

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