Thursday, 21 March, 2019


Business Industry: London's No-Deal Tariff Plan 'Sledgehammer' for UK Economy

No-deal tariff changes ‘could destroy jobs’			
				 
   by Daniel Binns 
  Published No-deal tariff changes ‘could destroy jobs’ by Daniel Binns Published
Conrad Doyle | 15 March, 2019, 19:08

The details are contained in a new no deal Brexit plan published by the government.

The temporary and unilateral regime will include levies of 10.6% on automotive products that were free from tariffs, a typical hatchback auto could increase by £1,500.

For the 13% of goods imported to the United Kingdom where tariffs will apply, the government said there would be a mixture of tariffs and quotas created to protect United Kingdom producers, mainly in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

It said it would only apply a small number of measures necessary to comply with global legal obligations, protect the biosecurity of the island of Ireland, or to avoid the highest risks to Northern Ireland businesses - which will not require land border checks.

It accepts the plans will cause competitiveness "concerns" for Northern Ireland businesses and farmers, but said the arrangements for a possible March 29 exit are necessary to avoid a hard north-south border. A group representing farmers said it was concerned that eggs, cereals, fruit and vegetables would also not be protected by tariffs. Farmers and food businesses have no time to prepare for the implications, which will be exacerbated by the fact that we will face tariffs on our own exports on food into the European Union and other countries with whom we now enjoy free trade arrangements.

"This is no way to run a country".

This will be good news for some business leaders. "This is a sledgehammer for our economy".

"No policy on tariffs can come close to compensating for the disruption, cost and job losses that would result", said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

No tariffs for Irish goods entering NI in no-deal Brexit

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the Government was showing "reckless disregard for people's jobs", warning the new regime would deal "a hammer blow to our manufacturing industries and the communities they support".

"There has not been enough consultation, preparation or planning to support the firms and communities that could find themselves at the end of a sudden shift in tariffs".

The government finally announced the proposed tariff regime that would apply under a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday, following MPs' vote to reject Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement for the second time the previous night.

"Even those sectors that are treated sensitively will, in most instances, see worrying and large reductions in the tariff rates now charged on non-EU imports". In that event, as the Bicycle Association (BA) noted, temporary tariffs have been set out, with a zero tariff on all bicycle goods, while the e-bike rate would remain at 6%.

Other rates include 0.2% on mineral products, 0.1% on chemical products, 2.1 on fertilisers, 0.1% on plastics and rubber, 0.2% on leather and hides, 0.9% on textiles and textile products, 0.3% on stone and cement, 1.2% on ceramics, 0.2% on glass and 2.9% on transport equipment.

Trade Policy Minister George Hollingbery said: 'Our priority is securing a deal with the European Union as this will avoid disruption to our global trading relationships. However, we must prepare for all eventualities.

But it would also expose many manufacturers to cheaper competition from overseas and, if maintained, low or zero tariffs would deprive Britain of ammunition for extracting concessions from other countries in future trade talks.

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