HC Deb 08 December 1982 vol 33 cc495-6W
Mr. Michael Hamilton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out the terms of reference of the group to be chaired by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury on the question of free ports.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

An inter-departmental working party has been set up under my chairmanship with the following terms of referenceTo identify and evaluate the benefits to industry and commerce of the customs facilities afforded at freeports situated both in the Community and elsewhere and to identify which of these facilities would encourage industrial growth and investment in the United Kingdom. To consider the extent to which customs facilities currently available in the United Kingdom compare with those permitted in freeports under EC legislation. To consider whether there is sufficient awareness on the part of both United Kingdom commerce and industry and of potential investors from overseas of the advantages offered by existing customs facilities. To make recommendations.

The intention is to produce a report early in the new year. The working group will wish to take full account of commercial interests and I accordingly invite interested parties to write to me expressing their views.