Up to 10 so-called free ports will be established in the UK after Brexit under new plans unveiled by the government.
Shipping ports and airports across the UK will be invited to bid for “free port” status after Britain leaves the EU, in line with a pledge made by Boris Johnson during the Tory leadership contest.
Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, claimed the move would create thousands of jobs and boost economic growth.
But Labour warned that it would be the beginning of a “race to the bottom”.
Free ports are areas of the UK that are outside the country’s customs territory, meaning goods can be manufactured, imported and exported inside the zones without incurring tariffs.
Mr Johnson pledged during the Tory leadership campaign to introduce “about six” free ports once Britain has left the EU.