UK to remove tariffs, waive Irish border checks in no-deal Brexit

The British government announced the suggestions ahead of the impending ‘no-deal’ vote on Wednesday where lawmakers in Britain will decide if the country should leave the European Union without a deal.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the British government said that most imports into the United Kingdom (UK) would not attract a tariff and it will be avoiding the “hard-border” between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The British government announced the suggestions ahead of the impending ‘no-deal’ vote on Wednesday where lawmakers in Britain will decide if the country should leave the European Union (EU) without a deal.

Lawmakers on Tuesday rejected the deal that was on the table even though the March 29 deadline for Britain’s exit from the EU draws near: Members of Parliament (MPs) had voted 391 to 242 votes to reject UK prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Under a temporary scheme, the government said 87% of imports by value would be eligible for no tariffs for up to 12 months, which is higher than the current 80% of imports.

Tariffs would be maintained to protect some industries such as poultry, some dairy products, agriculture, and meat products such as beef and poultry. This would mean that 82% of imports from the EU would be tariff-free, lower than the current 100%.

The UK government also said that they will not introduce any new checks or controls, or require customs declarations for any goods moving from across the border from Ireland to Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The decision to drop checks to avoid friction at UK’s land border with the EU will be temporary while the government negotiates for a longer-term situation.

In that scenario, Britain said it would hold discussions with the European Commission and the Irish government urgently to avoid a hard border.

No-deal Brexit not expected to get the green light

Lawmakers are expected to vote against a no-deal Brexit and then, on Thursday, vote in favour to extend Brexit.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of business association the Confederation of British Industry told the Today Programme that MPs should vote against the option for leaving the EU without an agreement, and that the date for leaving should be delayed.

‘Every week which goes by, firms are spending more on warehousing and stockpiling. It is a real cost, the uncertainty is biting,’ she said.


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