Scottish government parties split on freeports

Scotland and the UK will establish two green freeports north of the border according to an agreement made ahead of a visit from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week. [Shutterstock / Anita van den Broek]

Scotland and the UK will establish two green freeports north of the border according to an agreement made ahead of a visit from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week.

The UK government sees freeports as one of the best ways to boost economic growth in areas outside capital cities in the UK. The government has already identified ten freeport sites across England, but negotiations on sites in Scotland have been more challenging.

Although the freeports have been agreed on by the Scottish National Party, the Scottish Green party, which is part of the SNP government in Edinburgh, says that it opposes the plans for the freeports, which are due to open in 2023.

“There is nothing genuinely green about them. Freeports are a really effective way to give tax relief and throw public money at multinational companies who are already doing their best to avoid tax,” said Green finance spokesman Ross Greer.

The special economic zones, offer tax breaks and lower business tariffs to firms operating there.

(Benjamin Fox | EURACTIV.com)

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