Plans to create up to 10 free ports across the UK after Brexit have been revealed by the government.

Free ports allow goods to be imported and re-exported outside of normal tax and customs rules.

The UK hasn't had a free port since 2012, but prime minister Boris Johnson claims the plans could secure jobs in "left behind areas" of the country. International trade secretary Liz Truss said "thousands of jobs" would be created as a result.

She said: "Freedoms transformed London's Docklands in the 1980s, and free ports will do the same for towns and cities across the UK.

Airports and seaports will be able to apply for free port status, which will be introduced once the UK leaves the EU on 31 October.

Also known as "free trade zones", goods imported and exported through free ports are not subject to the same customs rules as the country they are entering/leaving. It means manufacturers can import raw materials, create products and export them without customs checks or paying tariffs.

Labour criticised the plans, saying that it does not offer any new investment for businesses and could attract tax avoiders and money laundering. Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said: "It is a race to the bottom that will have money launderers and tax dodgers rubbing their hands with glee.

"Free ports and free enterprise zones risk companies shutting up shop in one part of the country in order to exploit tax breaks elsewhere, and, worst of all, lower employment rights", he said.

"The British people did not vote for this new administration and they certainly did not vote to see their jobs and livelihoods threatened in favour of gifting further tax breaks to big companies and their bosses."

Earlier this month, a report published by the European Commission said free ports "pose a risk as regards to counterfeiting".