Post by Roger Post by Ian Jackson Post by Roger
If the NE is doing pretty well at the moment, why is it seen as a
relatively deprived area - especially by those who were persuaded to
The NE is struggling. The Chemical pole is one of the bright spots.
That's why it make sense to help it. It's not rocket science.
Post by Ian Jackson
Industry has been largely anti-Brexit (even in the NE) - so who are the
ones who have been pushing so hard to risk leaving the EU in order to do
better than they are at the moment? While many 'men-in-the-street' were
certainly dissatisfied with their lot, it's unlikely that they were the
instigators of the move to leave the EU and set up a freeport.
"We strongly believe a Free Port covering the region’s advanced
manufacturing cluster and key transport nodes like the Port of Tyne has
the potential to supercharge regional growth by unlocking post-Brexit
opportunities in new and existing supply chains.”
– Matt Beeton, Port of Tyne
Redcar Labour MP Anna Turley said: "Teesport is integral to
Teesside’s manufacturing complex and freeport status could deliver a
welcome boost to help us remain competitive and an attractive place to
Neither article really goes into much detail about how a freeport really
works - and other than loads of new jobs, what the advantages are over
normal manufacturing and trading in a regulated economy. It all seems
rather speculative, and the hoped-for advantages are largely 'nothing
ventured, nothing gained'.
Post by Roger
But not everybody is favorable, this article thinks it's all about tax
Here, I have to admit that the stated case against freeports seems
rather weak (repetitive claims of 'often provide facilities for money
laundering, tax evasion' etc - and other dodgy dealings). The other is a
reduction of workers' rights (although I don't see why this should
follow). Perhaps the more convincing is 'often simply moving prosperity
from one area to another'.
Post by Roger
Any which way, the man-in-the-street that you keep referring to is just
happy to try something new and is prepared to take the risk.
Yes - after consecutive governments' inability to minimise the decline
of the deprived areas (and especially the effects of the recession of
the late noughties, followed by the Tory's' insistence on applying more
and more austerity measures), many Brexiteers put 'just wanted change'
at the top of their list of reasons for wanting the EU. But will the
opening of freeports really make them (and the rest of us) better off
than if we had remained in the EU?