Post-Brexit trade deals mean firms will miss out on freeport benefits

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Government admits agreements with 23 countries include clauses prohibiting use of tax breaks

Companies operating in freeports being launched under Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit levelling up agenda will not get the full benefits of the new tax efficient zones if they export to some countries, the government has admitted.

Officials said post-Brexit trade deals with 23 nations – including Canada, Norway and Switzerland – included clauses that prohibit manufacturers in freeport-type zones from utilising the tax breaks they enable.

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