Cleverly fails to live up to name with EU zone blunder

by Jonathan Spink | 04.08.2019

The new Tory chair claims we can use Brexit to establish free ports. Except we already can as EU members. They’re not even a clever idea.

In an interview on BBC Radio 4 Breakfast, James Cleverly said that once we had left the EU we could “use that opportunity of Brexit to do the kind of things that we’ve been precluded from doing for decades, including free ports.”

The problem is that we already can establish free zones and free ports. The EU currently has more than 80 free zones. The UK itself had five until the domestic statutory instrument governing them expired in 2012, according to a House of Commons Library report.

Like his boss Boris Johnson – and the new foreign secretary Dominic Raab – Cleverly has a poor grip on facts.

It’s true that, in a recent EU report on money laundering, free ports were identified as a potential money laundering threat. It warned that they facilitate the movement of fake goods, as they “allow counterfeiters to land consignments, adapt or otherwise tamper with loads or associated paperwork, and then re-export products without customs intervention”. So it’s possible that the EU might change the current law to stop free zones. 

During the campaign for Tory leader, Boris Johnson suggested the UK could establish six free ports in the UK. This is a desperate measure to alleviate the pain of Brexit that opens a potential backdoor route for tax evaders, smugglers and money launderers.

Far better to stay in the EU and help lead the global fight against money laundering.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

4 Responses to “Cleverly fails to live up to name with EU zone blunder”

  • The free ports idea was tried in the 1980s. They were not a success then, lasting for some five or six years. What makes not-so-Cleverly think they’ll fare any better now?

  • Here is the full-facts reference to the subject. …. https://fullfact.org/europe/free-ports/
    Either Cleverly is just plain mistaken or he is fully-paid up assistant to the fake news streaming out of Nr. 10 in support of their Brexit case.
    The disinformation will increase massively just in case the peasants, us, might be given a chance to decide on which way the country should go. God forbid that we should be given real facts…..those days are long gone. Sit back and watch Cummings do his best to “educate” us in the required direction.

  • People such as Cummings conjure up pithy phrases to be repeated over and over and hammered home by social media and the overbearing right wing press. How many times have we heard ‘the undemocratic backstop’, ‘the will of the people’ etc. Even my local Tory councillors use the same phrases to pedal misinformation.
    Ultra Brexit MPs appear on TV to sell their message come what may. They ignore questions and instead answer by trotting out the phrases on their hymn sheet. If they are pressed they get angry, red faced and start shouting. The worst examples I have seen came from Peter Bone and the odious Redwood. Raab has obviously had media training and speaks smoothly and painfully calmly, going round the houses to avoid the question and redirect the topic to his own agenda. But, even he was riled by Rachel Burden and started raising his voice in a lecturing tone in a recent interview. They have an air of entitlement which is part of the ideology they are attempting to impose. ‘Challenge me at your peril’ is
    writ large on their foreheads.

  • Fact is that Johnson came to power based on lies and that there is not a single reason to stop that now. Quite to the contrary, it will increase, to convince the Brexit peasantry that he’s finally giving them what they always wanted. Again, the article addresses the already converted. One can only hope that a few of former Brexit voters did discover that they’re being taken for a ride and in case of a second referendum or an election will now tip the scales to the remain side.