How Northern Ireland will benefit from Brexit Freedoms Bill

Reducing duty on UK flights, the establishment of trade and investment hubs and the setting up of a freeport are among the benefits to be felt in Northern Ireland from a Brexit Freedoms Bill.

By Graeme Cousins
Monday, 31st January 2022, 9:33 pm
Updated Monday, 31st January 2022, 9:40 pm
Northern Ireland will get at least one freeport where eligible businesses will have access to a suite of tax reliefs, simplified customs arrangements, a supportive planning environment and support to innovate
Northern Ireland will get at least one freeport where eligible businesses will have access to a suite of tax reliefs, simplified customs arrangements, a supportive planning environment and support to innovate

The Benefits Of Brexit policy document published today by the UK Government sets out how ministers hope to target £1 billion of business savings by making changes to inherited European Union regulations.

The 102-page document also lays out how the UK will forge new regulations, pledging to “use our new freedom to act quickly and nimbly” in a bid to create “better markets”.

In terms of reducing domestic air passenger duty, flights between airports in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will see a 50% reduction in air passenger duty in 2023–24, enabling greater domestic tourism and reducing the cost of air travel to and from the UK regions by around £112 million.

Northern Ireland will also get at least one freeport where eligible businesses will have access to a suite of tax reliefs, simplified customs arrangements, a supportive planning environment and support to innovate.

New Trade and Investment Hubs will be established in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and a second Department for International Trade headquarters will be set up in Darlington.

The UK Government also said it is working jointly with the Northern Ireland Executive as well as governments in Scotland and Wales to develop UK Common Frameworks to ensure a common approach is taken where powers and law have returned from the EU which intersect with policy areas that fall within devolved competence.

In his foreword to the UK Government’s The Benefits Of Brexit paper, which was published on the second anniversary of Britain’s divorce from Brussels, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “That historic night two years ago marked not the final page of the story, but the start of a whole new chapter for our country, our economy and our people.

“A future in which we don’t sit passively outside the European Union but seize the incredible opportunities that our freedom presents and use them to build back better than ever before – making our businesses more competitive and our people more prosperous.

“This paper sets out how we’ll go about it. Untangling ourselves from 40 years of EU membership, keeping what works, changing what doesn’t, supporting new industries, reinvigorating older ones and firmly planting the British flag on the world stage once again.”

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