NIRC: New Tariff Schedule Doesn’t  Deliver for NI Consumers

The UK has set out a post-Brexit tariff regime, that will see the price of food and cars from Europe rise sharply if the transition period ends without an EU-UK trade deal.

The plans, announced by trade secretary Liz Truss, would lower some tariffs on imports compared with the levels Britain has applied as part of the EU’s customs union.

However the new schedule also includes a 10 percent duty cars, and levies on beef and poultry.

The new system of tariffs will apply from January 2021 — when Britain’s post-Brexit transition period agreed with the EU expires.

Responding to the latest  UK tariff schedule announcement, Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said:

“While we welcome the clarity that comes from the publication of the UK tariff schedule that will apply from January 2021 it doesn’t inspire confidence for NI consumers. While consumers may benefit from lower tariffs on non-food goods such as household appliances, any benefits in non-food are completely outweighed if we don’t secure a good EU deal. The best solution for NI households is for a comprehensive deal that reduces friction – such as checks and delays at the border – and would allow tariff-free trade to continue with the EU. 

“NI families have half of the discretionary income of Great British households and if there is not a comprehensive trade deal with the EU, the retail industry will find it almost impossible to give NI consumers the choice and affordability that they have been used to.

“We consumers need clarity from the UK government on how it will deliver the unfettered access to the UK market it has promised and we need derogations and a generosity of spirit from the EU to enable solutions to be delivered. With less than eight months to go, businesses need certainty to allow them to implement changes and adapt to the new trading landscape.”

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