January 31, 2023

Freeports only exist to promote the ideas of far-right politicians who hate the idea of regulation and tax. Why are we tolerating them?

As I noted in my column in The National yesterday:

My argument was this:

[Freeports] exist to promote the ideas of far-right politicians who hate the idea of regulations and tax, and who want to profit from their removal. Saying this I stress that there is no convincing evidence that freeports create new jobs or prosperity: at best they just move jobs in to freeports from neighbouring areas.

But this relocation of jobs is not ‘free’ as the name freeport might imply. It comes at a considerable cost, which is the undermining of the law and regulation of the spaces around the freeport elsewhere in Scotland, which is exactly what their promoters want. Freeports are part of a tax haven narrative that should have been consigned to history decades ago because of the harm that they cause.

The SNP might live to regret the day that it provided operation to Westminster on this issue.

The same is pretty much true for the rest of the UK as well.

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