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

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

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

That prospect is alarming many employers as the March 29 departure date looms large. These tariffs would apply for "up to 12 months".

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

Zero tariffs would be applied to items such as footwear, aluminium and steel, machinery, paper and wood products, and weapons and ammunition.

The plan would expose many manufacturers to cheaper competition from overseas.

Tariffs on certain ceramics, fertiliser, and fuel will also be retained.

Countries signed up to the World Trade Organization (WTO) must impose tariffs at the same level for all other WTO-member trading partners under the organisation's "most favoured nation" rule - unless they secure alternative deals with particular countries or trading blocs.

The government has announced that tariffs would be slashed to zero on 87% of imports should Britain crash out of the European Union without a deal, while keeping higher border taxes on some sensitive products.

The UK would slap tariffs of 10.6% on the cost of "fully furnished" cars imported from the EU.

"It's staggering that we are in this position with only days until we are due to leave".

British prime minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street London
British prime minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street London

ING economist James Smith told Euronews that a new United Kingdom tariff regime would have to be offset against the likely cost from a fall in the pound and market turmoil, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Her finance minister Philip Hammond is set to offer lawmakers an incentive to reverse their opposition to her plan by promising later on Wednesday to free up billions of pounds in extra public spending or tax cuts if a no-deal Brexit is avoided.

This will be good news for some business leaders.

Brexit minister Stephen Barclay called the measures a "modest liberalization".

The decision to refrain from checks at the Irish border would be temporary while longer term solutions were negotiated.

The government said it would not apply a tariff regime and customs border on goods transiting across the land border from Ireland to Northern Ireland but admitted that this created a "potential for exploitation" if those goods are then transported across the sea to mainland Britain for sale.

FILE PHOTO: A Guinness truck passes a sign for Customs and Excise on a road near the border with Ireland near Kileen, Northern Ireland, October 17, 2018.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley said they would be "temporary" and recognise "the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland". "These arrangements can only be temporary and short-term".

Alan Sked from the London School of Economics, told RT that he predicts there could be a "small amount" of smuggling, but that fundamentally it would depend on what the Irish did as an European Union member, as Brussels wants controls on goods at the border. But they disagree on the "backstop", or insurance mechanism, to exclude such border checks.

British and Irish officials have warned that such a scenario could lead to smugglers using Northern Ireland as a backdoor to get goods into Britain tariff free.