The British and Scottish governments have agreed that there will be two “green free ports” north of the border. The deal comes as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to visit Scotland on Monday.
Free ports – special economic zones offering tax breaks and reduced tariffs for companies – are promoted by the UK government in the framework of of son “leveling up” agenda.
A bidding process for free ports will open in this spring year and on hope that new sites will open in Spring 2023. Last year Scottish government said UK ministers risked undermining devolution if they set up free ports in Scotland or Wales without support of decentralized governments.
Ministers in Edinburgh later said it would pursue an alternative model called “green ports”, but under the new agreement, they will be known as “green freeports”.
The Prime Minister said: “Freeports help to speed up our level plan up communities throughout of The United Kingdom.
“They have the power to be truly transformational in creating jobs and investment opportunities to enable people to reach their potential, and I’m delighted that people across Scotland reap the benefits that will come from having two new green free ports.”
Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “I am delighted we were able to reach an agreement on a joint approach that recognizes the distinct needs of Scotland and enshrines the Scottish Government’s commitment to achieving net zero and just fitting work practices through public investment.
“Scotland has a rich history of innovative manufacturers and so, as we seek to seize the many opportunities of to reach net zerothe setting place of green free ports help us to create new green jobs, offer a just transition and support our economic transformation.”
Great Britain government pledged to fund of 52 millions pounds sterling (70 millions dollars) to project and bidders must commit to achieving net zero by 2045.
Ministers from both governments will have their say in evaluation and selection to treat for auctions.
The Scottish Government and the Treasury will use their taxing powers, including rate relief, for support free ports.
Under the UK government’s model free ports are centered around at least one air-rail or maritime, but may extend up 45 kilometers (28 miles) beyond.
The Scottish government has said that term “green freeport” reflected son distinctive character net-zero aspirations.
Leveling Up secretary Michael Gove said: “It’s a really exciting time for Scotland, and I am delighted that we are working together with Scottish government at set up of them new green free ports.
“Green free ports help pumping billions into the local economy when leveling up through creating works for local people and opportunities for people all over the UK to prosper.
“By collaborating using Opportunities like green freeports we can work at the level up the totality of the UK and bring benefits and opportunities to the communities that need most.”
Tory MSP Liam Kerr, the shadow cabinet secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport in Holyrood, describes the announcement like “wonderful news” Who go help unleash economic potential of our ports and kick-start our recovery of the pandemic.”
“Month of SNP dithering and delays had cast doubt over if these projects would ever get the green light,” he said.
“But I am happy that the SNP government finally got behind diet and worked with Great Britain government to offer this golden opportunity for Scotland.”
Ian Murray, Scottish Labor’s shadow secretary, said regions in England had a head start “because the two governments did not agree over the name.”
“It is vital that the Scottish and UK governments put their differences aside, and we must ensure that the rights of workers are protected in the zones, creating high quality jobs and not at the expense of others,” he said.
The prime minister should start the week with a visit to a manufacturing site in Scotland before going to an oncology center in north west of England.