Rishi Sunak discusses freeports announcement
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Boris Johnson’s plans to turn the UK into a global shipping hub received a monumental Brexit boost with the news the Duke of Northumberland is joining forces with pensions giant Legal & General to fund an ambitious “super-port” in Teeside. JP Morgan is advising the consortium, which is expected to table an offer in a matter of days before the second and final binding bids are made by the end of this year, sources close to the deal told The Sunday Telegraph. Investment bank Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is running the sale for PD Ports, which employs 1,300 staff and has 12 sites throughout the UK.
Prime Minister Mr Johnson and his Chancellor Rishi Sunak had written to major institutional investors urging them to get behind British projects after the UK’s departure from the EU.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen is confident thousands of jobs will be created through overhauling up to 4,000 acres of land in the area, including the former SSI steelworks.
Matt Vickers, MP for nearby Stockton South revelled in the latest Brexit boost, insisting “investors are queuing round the block to take advantage of an independent and sovereign Britain”.
He said the new Teeside freeport “will provide tens of thousands of quality jobs and direct billions of pounds of investment to the region”.
Brexiteers have used the hugely positive news for Brexit Britain to shoot down constant doom-mongering from Remainers, who were convinced the UK would fall away following its departure from the EU.
Reacting to our initial story, one Express.co.uk reader wrote: “I think it was up and running before. “It’s as though these gimmicks are announced to ameliorate the effects of Brexit.”
This sparked a brutal takedown from another reader, who replied: “Or demonstrate that the UK no longer has to ask permission to breathe in and out.”
Separately, another person said: “Remainers hate the UK and anything good about the UK.
“Why don’t they find a country that is more palatable to their view to go and live in.
One person fumed: Some people make comments on here without taking their blinkers off!
“If they lived in Teesside then they could not deny the investment that Ben Houchen and his team have brought into the area.
“Maybe it’s down to the fact that the money is now being distributed to areas other than the South.
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“The Remoaners are slating Brexit and using the fact that things did not change overnight as their basis for Brexit as a failed entity.
“Grow some, swallow your hurt pride and get behind the UK, cos we ain’t going back!”
While another added: “The left-wing once again being shown how to do it but they don’t like it.
“Britain is powering ahead and leaving the shackles of the EU on the floor to rust.
“There’s nothing better for this country than being sovereign and making its own decisions.”
Stockton South MP Mr Vickers hailed the latest news of a possible and lucrative “super-port” in Teeside.
He told Express.co.uk: “Investors are queuing round the block to take advantage of an independent and sovereign Britain.
“The new Teesside freeport is a perfect example of this and is a big post-Brexit win for the North East.
“It will provide tens of thousands of quality jobs and direct billions of pounds of investment to the region.”
He added: “It’s fantastic that the Government and investors recognise the amount of untapped potential Teesside has to offer.
“On top of the relocation of Treasury jobs to Darlington, gone are the days where decision-makers and investments were focused solely in London and the South.”
“Successive Governments have banded about the idea of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, but now we’re finally seeing this talk being put into action.
“With a driven and ambitious mayor in Ben Houchen and an abundance of new Conservative MPs in the region fighting hard for jobs, opportunities and investment, the future for Teesside and the North East has never looked brighter.”
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