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by Staff reporter
13 January 2023
Scottish freeports announcement expected after Sturgeon and Sunak meet in Inverness

Scottish freeports announcement expected after Sturgeon and Sunak meet in Inverness

The UK and Scottish governments are today expected to announce the creation of two green freeports in Scotland after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held private talks last night.

The meeting, which was held in a hotel near Inverness, is the second time the pair have met in person since Sunak replaced Liz Truss last year and, as when they met ahead of the British Irish Council in November, was said to be "cordial".

It is understood that the two leaders discussed a range of issues, including the NHS, the economy and Scotland's Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which passed last month but which the UK Government has hinted it may try to prevent from being enacted.

Sturgeon is also understood to have again made the case for a second independence referedum, with sources saying they had a "robust" exchange on the matter.

A joint announcement on the creation of two Scottish freeports, which will see tax incentives used as a means of boosting investment and economic growth, is expected to be made later today.

It is thought that the bids from the Cromarty Firth and the Firth of Forth have been successful while those from the Clyde and Aberdeen areas and Orkney have not.

Last night, Sunak wrote on Twitter that it was "great to be in Inverness today meeting rescue services and hearing more about the life-saving work they do every day", adding that he "also sat down with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to discuss the challenges we jointly face and how best to deliver for communities across the UK".

Prior to meeting Sturgeon, Sunak visited a Sea Scouts community group in Muirtown near Inverness, and a Coastguard search and rescue team at Inverness Airport.

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