No deal Brexit trade plan: government says most imports would be tariff-free

The government has outlined trade plans in the event of a no deal Brexit. Most imports would be tariff-free, but the prices of others would rise sharply.

Government officials have unveiled a new trade plan in the event of a no deal Brexit.

The plan states that 87% of imports would be tariff-free, but prices for goods like meat and cars are expected to sharply.

We would see a 10% rise in the cost of European cars and a substantial increase in the price of beef, chicken and pork from mainland Europe.

Britain’s new tariff system would only apply for 12 months after the no deal comes into play while the government consults on a permanent solution.

What is and isn’t included in the new tariff system?

Tariffs would apply to:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Some dairy
  • Finished vehicles
  • Ceramics
  • Fertiliser
  • Fuel

Products with zero tariffs would include:

  • Aluminium
  • Steel
  • Machinery
  • Arms and ammunition
  • Footwear
  • Paper
  • Wood products

What about Ireland?

The government also announced that there would be no checks or customs declarations at the Irish border in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Instead, there would be new checks away from the border to protect the biosecurity of Ireland. This will involve the setting up of a new designated entry point in Northern Ireland where animals and animal products from outside the EU would need certification and pre-notification before coming into the UK.

There would also be new import requirements on a limited set of goods such as endangered species and hazardous chemicals.

The government said that the new temporary import tariff schedule would not apply to goods crossing from Ireland to Northern Ireland. This means that farmers in Northern Ireland would be at a competitive disadvantage to farmers in Ireland.

A small positive impact

Officials said the new system could have a small positive impact on GDP, but this would be outweighed by the wider damage to the economy from leaving the EU without a deal.

Further reading on Brexit:

Four key steps for small businesses to prepare for Brexit

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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