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Volume 697: debated on Tuesday 22 June 2021

I was pleased to announce the location of eight new English freeports at the Budget in March. The next phase of delivery for freeports is being led by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. It is working with the eight freeports to help them to establish the appropriate governance structures and develop their investment proposals. The Government will then review their proposals for investment and the deployment of the tax and customs reliefs later this year.

I welcome the news that we have a freeport in neighbouring Plymouth. Will the Chancellor’s Department please work with the Department for Transport to ensure that we have quick, flowing transport links across the Tamar to make the most of these opportunities for my constituents?

I am delighted for Plymouth and its surrounding communities that it has received freeport status. As my hon. Friend says, this is a fantastic opportunity to drive investment and create jobs. I will, of course, work with the Department for Transport on improving transport links across the south-west. She previously welcomed the £2.5 billion upgrade of vital road connections such as the A303, the A30 and the A358, as well as the replacement of the vital Dawlish sea wall, which will improve rail connectivity in the region.