THE price of thousands of imported goods will be slashed from next year, the Government confirmed today after publishing its blueprint for Britain’s post-Brexit trade.
When Britain is finally free of EU rules next January, 60 per cent of trade will come into the UK tariff free – compared to 47 per cent under current EU rules.
Tariffs on goods not produced in the UK will be eliminated in order to lower prices on supermarket shelves and widen choice for consumers.
This will see the price of goods such as coffee, wine, sugar, citrus fruits and trainers on supermarkets will fall.
It will also make scores of household items cheaper – such as freezers, dishwashers, mirrors, scissors and garden shears and paint, which will all see tariffs slashed to zero.
The new tariff schedule will apply after the Brexit transition period ends at the end of this year and will apply to all imported goods from countries Britain doesn’t currently have a trade deal with.
That could include EU goods if the current trade talks fail to agree a deal in time.
The new plans will lower tariffs on as many products as possible where they do not risk a detrimental impact on UK producers.
The plans are designed to benefit households through greater choice and lower prices.
But tariffs will remain high in strong UK industries such as cars and agriculture to ensure foreign producers are not able to flood the market.
In a bid to cut red tape for businesses, all tariffs that are currently less than 2.5 per cent would go.
That would make household items like electric shavers, scales, fuses and food such as sultanas, olives and pistachios and other nuts fall in price.
Import taxes on Christmas trees – currently 2.5 per cent – will also be slashed to zero.
The UK will also remove tariffs on key production elements such as bolts for machines, cement, window frames or sheets of glass and sugar for food production.
In a further move to simplify trade for businesses, all goods with a tariff of under 20 per cent will be rounded down to the nearest 2 per cent; everything over 50 per cent will be reduced to the nearest 5 per cent and everything over 80 per cent will be shaved to the nearest 10 per cent.
Currently the EU dictates all tariffs on imports across the bloc and the World Trade Organisation has described Brussels’ tariffs regime as the most complex in the world.
But once the Brexit transition period finishes at the end of the year, Britain will be able to set its own tariffs on imported goods for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “For the first time in 50 years we are able to set our own tariff regime that is tailored to the UK economy.
“Our new Global Tariff will benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products.
“With this straightforward approach, we are backing UK industry and helping businesses overcome the unprecedented economic challenges posed by Coronavirus.”
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