The Government has announced that 87% of imports into the UK will be tariff free with their no deal Brexit plan. A figure that sees an increase of 7% from the current 80% of tariff free imports.
However, it has been said that this will be a temporary scheme to protect some industries, and will reduce the number of tariff free imports from the EU from 100% to 82%.
56% of imports from the rest of the world are currently tariff free, but this would rise to 92% with the government’s plan.
Imports of cars from the EU will have a tariff of 10.6% applied, which would add £1,500 to a typical family car. Volkswagen has already said the cost would be passed on to the buyer.
However. the import of car parts will be tariff free, in the hopes that car manufacturers will choose to stay in the UK. The ceramics, agriculture, beef, lamb, pultry and some dairy product industries would also receive some protection from cheap imports.
Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner described the potential no-deal as “economic vandalism which is threatening jobs and livelihoods” and said called for tariffs to be dropped on EU imports.
Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of business lobby group the CBI described the changes as “the biggest change in terms of trade since mid 19th century”.
“These are being imposed on this country with no consultation with business with no time to prepare. This is no way to run a country,” she said, warning that the impact could be a “sledgehammer to our economy” as companies spend more on stockpiling.
Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce said: “The abruptness of changes to tariff rates in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU would be an unwelcome shock to many of the businesses affected.”
He conceded that the government had listened to businesses and protected some areas of industry from cheap imports.
Trade minister Liam Fox will speak to business leaders at 15:00 GMT to discuss the tariffs, Reuters reported.