Lord Frost’s Anti-Big State Rallying Cry

Lord Frost has just appeared at the annual Anglo-German Königswinter Conference, where he delivered a stark warning to Boris: that he must not fall “into the trap of statism”, nor the “intellectual fallacy that a big state, high levels of public spending… can build sustainable economic growth over time”. A rare statement for a Conservative minister these days…

The pandemic, he went on to argue, must not become a trigger for continued state intervention, or a new economic consensus:

“I personally don’t want to accept that the levels of state involvement in our lives and in the economy we have seen in the last year are in any way normal. I want to get back to the old normal as soon as we can.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we must not lose our conviction that individual not collective rights are paramount, that living with risk is inevitable, or our belief that free debate and free expression of opinion are the right ways forward for a free society.”

This would all be red meat to the Tory grassroots. Shame it was delivered without an audience to a room full of Anglo-German technocrats, wonks, business leaders and diplomats in London by one of the quietest Cabinet attendees…

mdi-timer 17 June 2021 @ 16:48 17 Jun 2021 @ 16:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
British Ports Already Jostling for Freeport Status

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak has announced a ten week consultation to rapidly establish ten freeports across the UK, covering sea, air, and rail ports. The ports, once designated as free, will have no domestic taxes levied on any goods within them. Taxes will only be levied when a product leaves the freeport, and enters the rest of the UK…

This has the effect of encouraging international business to come to the UK to process or store goods with little to no red tape, bringing jobs and investment in the mainly coastal communities that have been neglected during the UK’s membership of the EU. Ten are set to be designated by the end of the year. Industry leaders have already started lobbying for freeport status…

  • A large North East ‘Virtual Freeport’:
    • The Port of Tyne, along with the Port of Blyth, Nissan, the British Ports Association and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, has been pushing for a large North East ‘virtual freeport’.
    • CEO of Port of Tyne Matt Beeton said Government’s freeports consultation and commented: “A free trade zone targeted at growing the advanced manufacturing and renewable energy clusters would boost global trade across key North East locations – helping to secure existing supply chains and attracting many more in to the region from overseas.
  • Freeports in London and Scotland:
    • Chief Executive of the Forth Ports Group Charles Hammond said “Our network of international connections, streamlined customs systems and developable land close to key markets in the Central Belt of Scotland, Greater London and the South East mean our operations are ideal locations to support existing or fresh manufacturing and processing business opportunities.”
  • An Atlantic freeport in Wales’ Haven Waterway:
    • Andy Jones, Chief Executive of Wales’ largest port, Milford Haven said “A free trade zone covering the international businesses on the Haven Waterway will help them maintain competitiveness in a global marketplace. Our proposition will boost our unique engineering, fishing, marine renewable energy and oil and gas cluster for future generations.

Guido suggestion to the consultation is to expand the freeport zone to cover the whole of the UK…

mdi-timer 10 February 2020 @ 10:27 10 Feb 2020 @ 10:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments