Related insights: Transport

UK Freeports: what happens now?

20 Apr 2021
The locations of the UK’s eight new Freeports have been announced with the promise of simpler planning, favourable customs tariffs and duties, and tax breaks to encourage growth and investment. But what should you do now? 

Transforming Public Procurement – WBD's response to the Green Paper. Blue sky thinking or a brewing storm?

25 Mar 2021
In anticipation of the UK's exit from the European Union, the Cabinet Office published its Public Procurement Green Paper on 15 December 2020. It serves as an aspirational mission statement for the future of public procurement post-Brexit. The document reflects the overarching political climate in which it was composed, with the ministerial foreword taking aim at the EU's "outdated public procurement regime". The new proposals align themselves with the international Agreement on Government Procurement, and seem to deliberately steer away from the previous regime as a point of principle, towards one that "better meets the UK's needs".
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Freeports in the UK: how will they work in practice?

17 Mar 2021
In the 2021 Spring Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the location of eight Freeports/Free Zones in England following a competitive bidding procedure launched in Autumn 2020. Press coverage and social media commentary was generally positive. However, there is a risk that those positive responses stem from a misunderstanding of the detailed proposals, and that a degree of expectation-management will be required to ensure that businesses take appropriate steps depending on whether they are within or outside the relevant parts of a designated Freeport/Free Zone.
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Public Procurement: normal service resumed?

17 Mar 2021
In a substantial judgment, the High Court has provided a welcome re-statement of the principles that will be applied to challenges to public procurement processes made by disappointed bidders. Contracting authorities and private sector bidders alike will benefit from a careful reading of the conclusions reached by the Court in determining when and on what terms it will intervene in the decision-making processes adopted by authorities.

Freeports will be a vital boost towards the UK's post COVID-19 economic and social recovery

03 Mar 2021
We are highly supportive of the government's Freeport initiative and the Chancellor's announcements today in relation to the creation of eight new style Freeports across the UK. The decision shows a real willingness to take concrete steps along the long road to levelling up the country. It will provide a vital boost towards the regeneration of parts of the country which need it most and also support their post COVID-19 economic and social recovery.