The Scandal of Freeports
Proposed freeports will operate outside of the law
The unlawful plunder of Scotland’s resources will continue through these Freeports, as the British state ignores again the Treaty of Union.
What do you know about Freeports?
Freeports are more than just a port, they are designated areas often covering a large area of land and sea.
Kate Forbes MSP collaborated with Michael Gove MP to bring two Freeports to Scotland, which for some reason are called Green Freeports. How green they will actually be is in question as it is not clear how they will be regulated and by whom.
One will be situated in Inverness and the Cromarty Firth but the external boundary extends to Brora. The diameter of the circle, which looks like the main working area, is almost 28 miles or 45km. The contract for this freeport is for 25 years.
The other is the Forth Freeport, which covers around half of Fife and approximately 70% of Edinburgh, Falkirk and Grangemouth. The boundary width is 44.8km or and almost 28 miles. More details about the Forth Freeport will be available when we announce dates for public meetings in that area.
Freeports can be a good thing if the legislation is in place to serve the community they are in and the operators invest in the community through creating jobs and improving infrastructure. And if they operate within the law of the state or country they are in.
What is being imposed is not that.
The freeports in Cromarty and Inverness, and the Forth Freeport do not have to adhere to employment laws; including minimum wage, NI and pension contributions, and Health and Safety laws. They are free to avoid environmental laws. Who regulates the freeports is not clear. There will be little or no benefit to the local community as there is no obligation to return regional investment to local communities.
Tax and customs and excise laws have been relaxed, who knows what will be coming in and going out?
Will these freeports become Tax Havens?
The Scottish Government has insisted these will be green freeports, but how can that be regulated when they are operational? Will they be subject to Scots Law or the UKGov Internal Market Act 2020?
This model of freeports, favoured by the UK Government, is not the preferred model across Europe. They serve big business, not the local community or the people.
Freeports? Free for who?
Salvo objects to these freeports as Scotland is not in a territorial union with England therefore annexing these areas and implementing different laws and regulations is a breach of the Treaty of the Union. The resources within these Freeports – oil, gas, wind farms and projected hydrogen capture should be used to benefit Scots, not syphoned off to benefit big business with little or no reward to Scotland or for Scots.
The land in Scotland belongs to the Crown. The people of Scotland are the Crown. The land and its resources belong to the people, not big business or conglomerates.
Professor Alf Baird considers these Freeports simply as a new phase of the plunder of Scotland by the British state
Update on the successful Green Freeport bid by Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) consortium. Report by Highland Council