The British Irish Chamber of Commerce (BICC) has said new UK tariff plans announced today (Tuesday) provide a stark reminder of the trade barriers potentially facing Irish and EU businesses from 1 January next year.
Under plans unveiled by UK trade secretary Liz Truss, a new UK Global Tariff would apply from the beginning of 2021, replacing the EU’s Common External Tariff if no Brexit deal were reached by the end of this year.
The plans would seek to keep tariffs low on a wide range of products, but they include 10 per cent duties on cars, and levies on some agricultural products.
BICC director of policy Paul Lynam said Ireland’s agri-food sector would be most at risk with new tariffs on products such as lamb, beef and poultry likely to undermine the viability of many food producers.
“Combined with the existential threat posed by the COVID-19 crisis, businesses face a perfect storm,” he said.
Mr Lynam said a worrying ‘no-deal’ scenario was now a very real prospect.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier last week said the UK would have to become more realistic and change its strategy in the Brexit talks. There is only one round of talks left before the next EU summit.