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World
13 Mar 2019

Britain says to scrap tariffs of imports in no-deal Brexit

No checks on Irish border in no-deal Brexit

Britain will slash import tariffs in case of a no-deal Brexit and will not apply customs checks on the border with Ireland, the government said today.

Under the new system, which would come into force if Britain leaves the EU on March 29 without an agreement, tariffs would be retained but it would be reduced for some agricultural products to protect British producers.

In context

No checks on Irish border in no-deal Brexit
In new system, 82% of EU's imports would be tariff-free

New system

In new system, 82% of EU's imports would be tariff-free

Under the tariff plan, 87% of total imports to the UK by value would be eligible for tariff-free access, which is 80% now.

According to the new system, 82% of imports from the EU would be tariff-free, while 92% of imports from the rest of the world would pay no duties at the border, 36% up from the current value of 56%.

New regime intended to be temporary for up to 12-months

The new regime is aimed at avoiding a jump in prices of EU imports for consumers and a disruption of supply chains, and is intended to be temporary for up to 12 months pending negotiations on a more permanent system.

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Comment

Balanced approach will help avoid potential price spikes: Hollingbery

"If we leave the European Union without a deal, we will set the majority of our import tariffs to zero, whilst maintaining tariffs for the most sensitive industries," Trade Policy Minister George Hollingbery said.

"This balanced approach will help to support British jobs and avoid potential price spikes that would hit the poorest households the hardest," he said.

Tariffs on beef, lamb, pork, poultry, dairy would be reduced

Tariffs

Tariffs on beef, lamb, pork, poultry, dairy would be reduced

Tariffs on beef, lamb, pork, poultry and some dairy would be reduced but retained in most cases.

In the auto sector, the government said carmakers reliant on European Union supply chains would not face additional tariffs for car parts imported from the EU but tariffs would apply on imported cars.

The new regime wouldn't apply to 70 developing countries having access to the British-market.

Exemption

70 developing countries having preferential access to British market exempted

The new system would not apply to countries with which Britain already has a free trade agreement and to around 70 developing countries that have preferential access to the British market.

The government said it wouldn't apply a tariff regime and customs border on goods transiting across the land border from Ireland to Northern Ireland.

However, they admitted it created a "potential for exploitation".

Committed to entering into discussions with EC, Irish government: Britain

Statement

Committed to entering into discussions with EC, Irish government: Britain

"This regime is only temporary as we recognize that there are challenges associated with this approach, including the unmonitored flow of goods into the UK and the potential for exploitation of any new system," the government said in a statement.

"The government is committed to entering into discussions with the European Commission and the Irish government as a matter of urgency," it said.

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