On 20 July the UK Government published its High Level Output Specification and Statement of Funds Available. These statutory statements set out what the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, wants the railway in England and Wales to achieve between 2019 and 2024 during rail planning Control Period 6 (CP6).
Free Zones are areas which are geographically inside a country’s land border, but considered to be outside customs controls. In these areas, import duty and VAT are not applied until goods leave the zone and enter the host country. When located in sea ports they are often referred to as Free Ports.
Free Zones appear all over the world, from Brazil to Bulgaria, and act as catalysts for international trade by allowing traders and shipping companies to store goods with minimal expense and bureaucracy.
On Tuesday 18 July the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, will make a statement on Rail Services and Metro. Although the detail of the statement is unknown, the Welsh Government has indicated that the final tender process for procurement of the next rail franchise and Metro operator will begin in July 2017, with the contract expected to be awarded in January 2018. The successful bidder would then begin to operate services in October 2018.
Three Members of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee, Mark Isherwood, Eluned Morgan and Committee Chair David Rees, visited Dublin on Monday 19 June. The reason? To get some Irish perspectives to feed into the Committee’s inquiry into the implications of Brexit for Welsh ports.