Free port push in Parliament by Immingham's MP

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 2 Jul 2018

Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers has been on his feet in Westminster attempting to secure a Government debate on the post-Brexit possibility of a free port. 

Having welcomed Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss, to his Immingham constituency last month, the Conservative brought the matter up at a session covering parliament’s business.

Addressing Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom MP – who he also brought to North East Lincolnshire, Mr Vickers said: “A recent report provided evidence that trade could be increased by £12 billion and 150,000 jobs created in the north of England if seven major ports, including Immingham in my constituency, were given free port status, which would clearly be a massive boost to the economy post-Brexit. Will the Leader of the House find time for a debate in Government time to explore these great opportunities?”

Conservative MP Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, pictured with Martin Vickers MP for Cleethorpes, during a visit to Immingham docks last month.

The proposal would remove tariff issues, allowing businesses easier trade on an international level, vital should no deal be reached with international neighbours for the Europe-facing port cluster.

Ms Leadsom said: “I am certainly interested in the issue of free ports, and my honourable friend is right to raise the potential of ports such as Immingham. 

“We will have transport questions on Thursday July 5, when he may like to take that up directly with ministers.”

Read more: Free ports could be coming to Grimsby – here is what to expect

With Dr Liam Fox at the dispatch box earlier, Mr Vickers had also asked about the expansion of a Department for International Trade roadshow that had visited in May to “encourage small businesses to invest overseas and export,” adding it had been “greatly valued by local businesses”. 

Dr Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, said: “Of course, we will continue to do that; it is a very successful programme.”

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