In the Herald yesterday, uncritically presenting the case for a ‘free port’ in Peterhead:
Ross has qualifications in farming including milking and ‘collecting’ bull sperm. He may or may not have read-up on the pros and cons of free ports or just embraced current Tory ideology on them. Their 2019 manifesto has a commitment to create up to ten in the UK.
For readers unfamiliar:
What Ross refers to as the Scottish Government’s ‘own ideological reasons‘ to oppose them, seem more reasoned and more widely held by ‘experts‘ than anything he has to offer.
UK media reports in the FT, the Independent and the BBC seem strongly opposed and, perhaps more significantly, academic reports raise wider and serious concerns.
Commissioned for the House of Commons Library, a February 2020 briefing paper repeats the commonly held view that:
‘They will simply transfer business away from other areas of the UK without increasing the overall size of the economy‘
but perhaps more important, points out that:
‘The EU had introduced new rules to clamp down on free ports after identifying that their special tariff and duty status has aided the financing of terrorism, money laundering and organised crime.’
The Moray constituency, currently held by Ross would be well-placed to lose business to the neighbouring Aberdeenshire where Peterhead is located, but far more concerning, Peterhead’s longstanding problems with drugs would get such a boost we’d have the ‘Marseilles of the North!‘
Briefing Paper at: