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Post-Brexit plans unveiled for 10 free ports

The government is planning to create up to 10 free ports across the UK after Brexit.

They allow firms to import goods and then re-export them outside normal tax and customs rules.

The UK last had such zones in 2012 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes they could create jobs in “left-behind areas”.

Labour said the move involved no new investment and could attract money launderers and tax dodgers.

Seaports and airports will be able to apply for free port status, to be set up after the UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.

Such zones are allowed under EU law, although backers argue the benefits would be greater after Brexit if the UK is allowed to diverge from EU rules. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the move would create “thousands of jobs”.

“Freedoms transformed London’s Docklands in the 1980s, and free ports will do the same for towns and cities across the UK,” she added.

Mr Johnson backed the creation of new free ports as a Tory leadership candidate, suggesting there should be “about six” around the country.

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