Lucky escape! Drug trafficking, money laundering and lost tax revenue: The Tory plans for a freeport in Scotland

From the Corporate Herald today, a typically uncritical view on freeports.

Here are the facts:

There is clear evidence in a House of Commons Briefing Paper that they simply transfer business away from other areas and, according to the Royal United Services Institute, ‘encourage drug trafficking, trade in counterfeits, money laundering and a vast array of other crimes.

Backup evidence:

  1. Full report: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8823/
  2. Additional evidence from Institute for Government on economic factors: There is also a risk that freeports and zones don’t create new economic activity but rather divert existing business into the area with the allure of tax breaks – at a cost to the taxpayer in the form of lost revenue. https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/trade-freeports-free-zones
  3. Additional evidence from Royal United Services Institute: The misuse of freeports in other countries for drug trafficking, trade in counterfeits, money laundering and a vast array of other crimes has drawn the attention of key international stakeholders, including the Financial Action Task Force, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Customs Organization. The European Parliament has gone so far as to call for the abolition of freeports in the EU. https://rusi.org/publication/briefing-papers/free-ports-not-safe-havens-preventing-crime-uks-future-freeports

8 thoughts on “Lucky escape! Drug trafficking, money laundering and lost tax revenue: The Tory plans for a freeport in Scotland

  1. Freeports for the Tory elite, composed of very rich men who get richer by “sweating” existing assets, rather than investing in new, more productive tech, are a route to “free money”.
    Within a very short time, freeports will be owned and controlled by big investment funds, who care nothing for local interests, only the bottom line. They will squeeze out competition, then control prices.

    Greased-Moggy will “earn” only £600 million this year, having dropped £200 million personal profit from the poor performance of his Irish “investment” operation—these are the kind of people who are UK legislators.

    The UK is the most economically unequal advanced economy on the globe. Things can only get worse as Brexit bites.
    The humiliation of France loosens the bonds with Europe even more.
    Perfidious Albion indeed!
    No wonder France calls the UK, America’s poodle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OT – Have you read the UK sourced piece “Gas price rises prompt urgent government talks” being promoted on the BBC Scotland page ?
    Two paragraphs stood out as massive red herrings –
    “The high prices have already led two large UK fertiliser plants to close”
    and
    “In the UK, lower winds have meant less renewable energy is generated. There have also been outages at some nuclear stations and lower flows into the UK of natural gas from Norway, pushing up the price of natural gas.”

    The first – All simply due to the cost of gas which would only need passed on in higher product cost? Nothing to do with Brexit consequentials, or a freight system now buckled and struggling to cope ?

    The second – Energy prices have been rising across all Europe and were signalled here over 3 months ago, so why now, and why only in the UK is there an effect ?
    What has recent wind or nuclear energy to do with it during a period of low power demand and what connection with gas production.
    Have EU suppliers refused to lower power tariffs leaving England potentially facing winter blackouts ?

    No fertiliser plants have closed here, gas and electricity costs are going up, prices are increasing, so why are HMG and the BBC pushing this preposterous story ?
    Or is it cover for Brexit chickens coming home to roost?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Richard Murphy did a series of pieces on Freeports, not one benefit was noted.
    He also highlighted the headlined point 2 above, with the observation that local politicians grandstanding this as a boost to the local economy were either seriously deluded or nakedly lying for political ambitions over the detrimental impact it would bring.

    That the Herald is promoting it as an SNP “failing the public benefit again” piece is hardly surprising though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Did Boris Johnson, and one or two other leadership contenders, not get rather large donations for their leadership campaigns from at least one supporter behind the movement for free ports?

      As usual adopt a policy for money then think up some spurious reasons to support it afterwards.

      Like

  4. Thatcher took trade away and left ports around Britain in decline. The Tories built Tilbury Docks 26miles of container port. Thatcher centralised transport through London. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted airports. London transport subsidised.by the rest of the UK. London traffic congestion and chaos. Everything takes twice as long. Anywhere but Heathrow. It is too big. People have to stay overnight to travel.

    There are now fights to Dubai (hub), China and India from Scotland. Slightly more expensive but more accessible with less need for an overnight stay in London. Putting up the cost of the journey.

    Investing in Scotland and the North railways would cut journey times and aid economic development. Internal journey time throughout Britain would be quicker. To rival flight times. Considering the airport wait and rail services to the centre of the cities,

    Brexit has made trade with Europe more difficult and expensive. Free trade will not solve that. The EU negotiated trade agreement en masse with the main powers. The EU as a conglomerate can negotiate better deals. Stand up against pressure on individual firms and prices.

    A larger organisation can negotiate a better deal. Brexit is a bad deal. Poor negotiations are making it worse. Mr Frost is not a cool guy. An inexperienced incompetent. Picked by Johnston. Both have no experience. They are arrogant and ignorant. The harm and damage they are doing to the UK economy is appalling. .

    Brexit and Austerity are ruining the economy. Charlie and chocolate factory closing down. Lack of goods and revenues. What an absolute mess the Tories are making every where. There will be an election so other people have to sort out the mess.

    Like

  5. Fracked US Gas in imported into Grangemouth supposed to be cheaper.
    Biomass has a problem with imported wood supplies, The UK is covered in coal, especially in Scotland. CCS projects were turned down in Scotland at Longannet.. . Reneged upon by Westminster. Along with a gas project at Peterhead. There is not much reported upon fracked gas operations in the south. There is little gas to frack in Scotland on land.

    Like

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