Industry calls for more free ports as it warns Chancellor he risks leaving coastal towns behind

Container ships passing near Southampton Docks last year - Andrew Matthews /PA
Container ships passing near Southampton Docks last year – Andrew Matthews /PA

The national association for ports has called on the Chancellor to create more than 10 free ports or risk distorting competition and leaving behind some coastal towns in the Government’s “levelling up” agenda.

A 10-week government consultation ends this week on plans to attract ­investment into post-industrial coastal areas by creating zones where goods do not face tariffs or other taxes usually slapped on imports, alongside other ­incentives including research and development tax credits, capital allowances, discounts on stamp duty and business rates, and local relaxations of planning laws.

However, in a letter to Rishi Sunak seen by The Daily Telegraph, Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association, expressed the group of more than 400 ports’ “serious concern” that the proposals appeared to have “limited aspirations” to establish only up to 10 sites.

“The industry

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Mexico green lights auto industry restart, heeding U.S. calls

By Dave Graham and Anthony Esposito

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico will begin opening some automotive factories from May 18 under a plan unveiled on Wednesday that loosens coronavirus restrictions and paves the way for U.S. car giants to ramp up output dependent on parts made south of the border.

In a presentation, the government said as of Monday, mining, construction and manufacturing of transport equipment will be considered essential activities and that companies must implement strict protocols to protect their workers.

“We now have the light which tells us we’re going to get out of the tunnel,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said alongside top officials at a news conference in which the government set out its plans.

Lopez Obrador stressed that adoption of the measures would be voluntary. Some states may move faster than others during the reboot of the auto sector, though industry leaders are eager for

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