Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Finance what discussions they have had with (i) Executive colleagues; and (ii) others regarding freeport status for Northern Ireland ports.
Minister of Finance: The policy on Freeports is being developed by the Treasury. Following consideration of the Treasury’s position with Executive colleagues in August, I wrote to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to call for substantive engagement so that the Executive can assess the potential of Freeports locally.
My department, in conjunction with relevant Executive departments, has been engaging with the Treasury, however limited detail has been shared at this point. My officials continue to press for that to understand fully the implications for our economy and any potential role the Executive might have in creating Freeports. Officials have also been engaging with local stakeholders on this issue to ensure their views are heard and considered as the policy is developed. This will continue going forward.