UK Tariffs Subsequent to a Potential No Deal Brexit
As hope for a sound Brexit-deal diminishes, farmers have raised concerns regarding the reduction of tariffs on food and other common good which threaten the the purchase of domestically produced agricultural goods as imports become a cheaper alternative to British citizens.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove promised that the government will apply tariffs to food imports in the event of a no-deal Brexit, stating, “Your concerns have absolutely been heard...It will not be the case that we will have zero-rate tariffs on food products.”
According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the “no-deal” Brexit opens the possibility that the European Union would be willing to impose a 10 percent tax on cars and a 35 percent tax on dairy products. However, in an effort to stimulate free trade, the UK may lower tariffs which would mean some cheaper products would come into the country for consumers, but could also risk driving some UK producers and businesses out of the market, particularly the agricultural sector.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President, Minette Batters, voiced her concerns as well, adding, “ If you obliterate the tariff wall… we would be massively undermined by food produced to standards that would be illegal to produce to in this country.” further adding “ it would decimate British agriculture- it is quite honestly as simple as that.”
Similar comments were echoed by the British Ceramic Confederation (BCC) who issued a letter to PM Theresa May which highlighted the drastic effects that could potentially take place if should EU tariff on ceramic tableware, which stands at 12%, was converted into a zero-tariff.
“Unlike [the agricultural sector], we have not had a promise that our sector would be protected even in the short term...The shock of zero tariffs would be devastating, affecting business, jobs, and communities across the country.”