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East Midlands Chamber News

Tariffs announcement will bring winners and losers, says Chamber


Commenting on the Government’s announcement this morning on changes to tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at award-winning East Midlands Chamber*, said:


“We had hoped Mr Hammond would use his Spring Statement today to tell the world that UK plc will remain open for business, whatever the outcome of Brexit, and movement on tariffs would have been on our list.


“If the tariffs announced today were to come into effect on 30 March, there would be winners and losers across East Midlands businesses and UK industry overnight.


“The abruptness of changes to tariff rates in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU would have been an unwelcome shock to many, affecting businesses and the poorest families first and worst, as all imports would have been subject to tariffs.


“The announced temporary removal of tariffs on most imports will prevent many of those price increases, but it will open us up as a market for cheap imports and reduce our negotiating leverage when it comes to arranging new trade deals in the short term.


“While ministers have clearly listened to our arguments and maintained targeted protection in some areas, overall there has not been enough consultation, preparation or planning to support the firms and communities that could find themselves at the end of a sudden shift in tariffs.


“As MPs vote tonight, this is yet another reason why they must act to avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU on March 29.”


Further information of tariffs can be found at the Government’s UK Trade Tariff tool, which offers commodity codes for goods, or visit the temporary rates of customs duty on imports after EU Exit.


*East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamhire, Leicestershire)