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MP hopes that freeport plans could help boost jobs in Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 20:01 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:40 12 October 2020

Therese Coffey hopes that freeports could bring more jobs to Felixstowe Picture: GREGG BROWN

Therese Coffey hopes that freeports could bring more jobs to Felixstowe Picture: GREGG BROWN

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Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has backed plans for new “freeports” which could help areas like Felixstowe and Harwich.

Freeports are currently used around the world as secure customs zones, usually at ports, where business is carried out within a country’s land border.

However, different customs rules apply within a freeport to elsewhere.

The Government carried out a consultation earlier this year to look at bringing freeports to the UK.

They argue that freeport status – including tariff flexibility - would promote the faster flow of goods, including creating national hubs for global trade.

It’s not clear at this early stage where any such freeports would be sited but Dr Coffey hopes that Felixstowe could be a good candidate for the plans.

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Dr Coffey said: “Leaving the EU creates new opportunities for the UK to become a hub for international trade and investment and I’m delighted the Government’s consultation response has confirmed its intent to deliver Freeports.

“I responded positively to the consultation and have been working closely with the Port of Felixstowe and Sir Bernard Jenkin MP across the water for Harwich on how we can boost our chances of Freeport status. “Felixstowe is, of course, the UK’s largest container port and Harwich an important terminal for roll-on/roll-off non-containerised freight.

“If successful, this would be a good boost for jobs and prosperity on both sides of the Harwich Haven.”

The Government intends to launch its freeports allocation process shortly.

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