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Sunak fast-tracks Brexit masterplan to remove EU tariffs for dynamic UK economy

As part of the Tories “levelling up” pledge, the chosen areas would also be set to benefit from lower business rates, a cut to stamp duty and extra capital allowances.

The idea of freeports had been proposed to come into force from April 2022 – 16 months after the end of the transition period.

But as trade talks remain on the brink and the prospect of no deal surges, the Treasury is reportedly accelerating the bidding process for towns and cities in order to be operational by next year.

Mr Sunak first put forward the idea in 2016 in a paper for the Centre for Policy Studies – a free-market think-tank.

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