Tuesday 19 May 2020 7:52 am

Government outlines new post-Brexit global trade tariffs

The UK government has said that food and household appliances will be cheaper under a new post-Brexit trade tariffs regime set to begin in January.

Britain will scrap all levies on £30bn of imports when it formally leaves the European Union at the end of the year.

International trade secretary Liz Truss said the new regime will simplify trade and lower administrative burdens on businesses.

Products like fridges and dishwashers are currently marked up by up to three per cent, but will have no tariffs come January. Tariffs will remain on UK-produced cars, at 10 per cent, and on agricultural products including lamb, beef and butter.

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Truss said today: “For the first time in 50 years we are able to set our own tariff regime that is tailored to the UK economy.”

“Our new Global Tariff will benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products. With this straightforward approach, we are backing UK industry and helping businesses overcome the unprecedented economic challenges posed by coronavirus.”

The tariffs will be applied to trade with any country the UK has not negotiated a trade deal with by December. The UK government is aiming to negotiate a deal with the EU by December, but there has not yet been a breakthrough.

Last week, the government slammed Brussels negotiators for their failure to compromise on key issues, such as EU fishing access to UK waters.

The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said the EU “has asked far more from the UK than they have for other foreign countries where they have reached free trade agreements”.

Under the new rules announced today, 60 per cent of UK trade would be tax-free on World Trade Organisation terms. It compares with 47 per cent of trade which is tariff-free under EU rules. It means an extra £30bn of trade will be tariff-free from January.

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