Government could cut tariffs in no-deal Brexit
By Sarah Wood | 6th March 2019
The UK government could cut trade tariffs on the majority of goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the latest reports.
Tariffs would be cut on 80 to 90 per cent of products, with some tariffs scrapped completely, including those on car parts, and some agricultural produce, as reported by the BBC.
However, 10 to 20 per cent of key products would continue to be protected by the current level of tariffs, including beef, lamb, dairy, cars and some textiles. The government will make an announcement once a decision on Brexit been finalised.
Tariffs are taxes on imports which protect UK companies from overseas competition and raise money for governments. While tariffs are good news for business, they mean higher prices for consumers.
Cutting tariffs on the majority of imports would give consumers a helping hand, but it would also leave UK businesses at a disadvantage compared to their European competitors.
Many Brexit supporters say that tariffs on food and other items should be scrapped to lower prices for consumers.
But farmers fear cheap imports and lower standards could destroy British agriculture. Similar concerns have been expressed in other sectors, with business leaders fearing the government could be tempted to cut tariffs at their expense.
It will become clearer after next week's Commons vote on Brexit whether the UK will be leaving the EU without a deal.
The government says it has been consulting with different industries on whether to cut tariffs in the event of a no-deal, and what the right level would be to get the right balance for consumers and businesses.
Cutting the majority of tariffs would be a bold move for the UK, sending out the message across the globe that the UK is freeing up trade and is open for business.
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