LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said Wednesday it would lift import tariffs on a wide range of goods and avoid a so-called hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
FILE PHOTO: A Guinness lorry passes on a road near the border with Ireland near Kileen, Northern Ireland, on October 17, 2018, a sign for customs and excise duty. REUTERS / Clodagh Kilcoyne / File Photo
The government announced the postponement It was said that it was temporary before the members would vote on Wednesday on whether Britain should leave the European Union without an agreement. This could alarm many employers as Brexit's planned date of March 29 is imminent.
Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a second, heavy parliamentary defeat in her withdrawal, which she had closed on Tuesday with the bloc, leaving open the possibility of an abrupt, economically damaging Brexit without transitional arrangements.
The legislature is expected to vote against a no-deal Brexit and vote Thursday for Brexit's delay.
Under the tariff plan for a no-deal brexit, which would take up to 12 months, 87 percent of total imports into the United Kingdom would be duty-free, now at 80 percent.
The new system would mean that 82% of imports from the EU would be duty-free, rather than 100% now, while 92% of imports from the rest of the world would not pay at the border, compared to 56% now.
Some protections for British manufacturers would remain, including the country's carmakers, as well as beef, lamb, pork, poultry and dairy farmers.
The reduction of import duties on imported goods would, in the case of a no-deal brexit, detract from the British consumer's expectation of inflation, which would probably topple the pound and make imports more expensive.
But it would also expose many manufacturers to cheaper foreign competition, and if that were maintained, the low or zero tariffs would deprive Britain of ammunition to win concessions from other countries in future trade talks.
At the Irish border, the UK Government stated that, in the case of a no-deal brexit, no new controls or checks should be introduced on goods moving from the Republic of Ireland to the Province of Northern Ireland, as the plan is temporary and sided.
"The measures announced today recognize the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland," said Karen Bradley, British Foreign Secretary for Northern Ireland, in a statement. "These agreements can only be temporary and short-term."
Britain urgently wants to start discussions with the European Commission and the Irish Government to agree long-term measures to avoid a hard line.
Goods crossing the border from Ireland to Northern Ireland are not covered by the new import duty system.
Great Britain, Ireland and the EU have announced they will avoid physical border controls marked by military checkpoints before a 1998 peace agreement ended three decades of violence in the region. However, they do not agree on the "backstop" or insurance mechanism to exclude such border controls.
Letter from William Schomberg; Edited by Michael Holden / Guy Faulconbridge