News

Freeports in England to get £25m each – while Wales is offered £8m, says minister

25 Jun 2021 2 minutes Read
Holyhead Harbour. Picture by Darren Glanville (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Freeports in England are to receive £25m in financial support each, while Wales is being offered £8m to set one up, according to a Welsh Government minister.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Rural Affairs, told the Senedd that the offer of money from the UK Treasury to set up a freeport in Wales is “completely unacceptable”.

She was responding to a question from Conservative MS Mark Isherwood, who asked about the possibility of setting up a freeport in Holyhead, Anglesey.

Griffiths also criticised the UK Government’s Welsh Secretary Simon Hart for threatening to impose a freeport on Wales “without our agreement”.

The Minister for Rural Affairs said: “Well, at present, no formal offer has been presented to the Welsh Government on a proposed Welsh freeport.

“But we have been absolutely clear that we cannot accept the proposal that a Welsh freeport would receive just £8 million in financial support while every freeport in England gets £25 million.

“I’m sure the Member would agree that’s completely unacceptable. And Welsh Ministers did write to the UK Treasury, back in February, making that very clear.

“And we also set out conditions where a joint approach could be taken, but as yet we haven’t received a response to that letter. So, it’s not possible to take a decision on it unless we have a response from the UK Government.

“I’m sure, again, you will agree that the Secretary of State’s suggestion that the UK Government might choose to implement a freeport in Wales, without our agreement, represents yet another example of a top-down throwback to pre-devolution economic policy, where the message was, ‘In Wales, you’ll get what you’re given.’ And the UK Government need to work with us not against us.

‘Each UK nation’

Mark Isherwood said: “The UK Government is establishing 10 or more freeports around the UK, and wants to establish a freeport in each UK nation.

“This will require a joined-up approach, with businesses, communities, local authorities and the Welsh Government all coming on board.

“The UK freeport model encompasses a broad set of measures to stimulate economic activity, while creating jobs and having a regenerative effect on ports, local communities and economies.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Huw Davies
Huw Davies
27 days ago

Don’t people get it yet? We are Cinderella, we are Harry Potter under the stairs. Or worse we are Bulls Eye, Bill Sikes’s unloved dog that reflects its owner’s personality and even dies once Sikes is killed.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
27 days ago

That is what we can expect by being a colony of England.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
27 days ago

Nothing unusual about this – Cymru has been shat on for centuries. Let’s not dwell on it let’s just get out.

GwaliaAgricola
GwaliaAgricola
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

English ports are bigger. They take more people and more freight to more areas.

Therefore they cost more to run.

This “shat on” line is pathetic.

Chris
Chris
27 days ago
Reply to  GwaliaAgricola

And why are they bigger? Because they get more money, enabling them to take more people and more freight to more areas. It’s not a difficult equation. Westminster is protecting the status quo. One Britain One Nation my muscular behind! Newsflash! We will not all be “Levelling up” in Boris’ fascist Valhalla.
If you think Steve’s last line was “pathetic”, then so is your understanding of Cymru’s history. The inclusion of Agricola (whether Tacitus or the commander of XX Valeria Victrix – that yr Issyllwr destroyed) does suggest you are a fan of the propaganda of invaders.

GwaliaAgricola
GwaliaAgricola
24 days ago
Reply to  Chris

They are bigger because they are England and serve a more populous and wealthy land mass – Europe.
The Tacitus one.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
27 days ago
Reply to  GwaliaAgricola

You really need to do your homework on the significance of Holyhead to the English economy.
Anyhow, Associated British Ports is owned by Singapore and Kuwait so why are you in such a rush to subsidise “Furrins”?

GwaliaAgricola
GwaliaAgricola
24 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Holyhead does not have the same numbers or significance of ports serving the European mainland and beyond.

I don’t care who owns any port. It is a global economy. Anyone can own anything.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
27 days ago

In 2012 Mark Isherwood’s party was in power and allowed the legislation which had enabled 12 existing UK Freeports to lapse. I believe the reasoning then was that Freeports encouraged corruption and money laundering.
Of course now that his party is entirely geared toward corruption and money laundering he is all for them.

Our Supporters