Beef and dairy to be hit hardest with no-deal tariffs – but not NI

Irish beef, dairy and poultry exports to the UK are in line to face severe tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the UK’s temporary tariff regime, announced today.

The UK government this morning (Wednesday, March 13) published details of the UK’s temporary tariff regime for no deal, ahead of the vote in parliament on a no deal this evening, with agricultural imports into the country earmarked as “sensitive” products which would be subject to tariffs.

However, goods imported into Northern Ireland will not be subject to such rates.

According to the UK government this regime is temporary, and that it would closely monitor the effects of these tariffs on the UK economy.

It would apply for up to 12 months while a full consultation and review on a permanent approach to tariffs is undertaken.

British businesses would not pay customs duties on the majority of goods when importing into the UK if the country leaves the EU without an agreement.

Under the temporary tariff, 87% of total imports to the UK – by value – would be eligible for tariff-free access.

Tariffs would still apply to 13% of goods imported into the UK. This includes a mixture of tariffs and quotas on beef, lamb, pork, poultry and some dairy to support farmers and producers who have historically been protected through high EU tariffs.

Trade Policy Minister George Hollingbery said: “Our priority is securing a deal with the European Union as this will avoid disruption to our global trading relationships. However, we must prepare for all eventualities.

“If we leave without a deal, we will set the majority of our import tariffs to zero, whilst maintaining tariffs for the most sensitive industries.

“It represents a modest liberalisation of tariffs and we will be monitoring the economy closely, as well as consulting with businesses to decide what our tariffs should be after this transitional period.

The government has also confirmed today that it will take a temporary approach to avoid new checks and controls on goods at the Northern Ireland land border if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The UK’s temporary import tariffs will therefore not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland.

“These tariffs would apply equally to all other trading partners, except for those where we have a free trade agreement in place and around 70 developing countries that will benefit from preferential access to our market.

“The government will lay the appropriate legislation in light of the outcome of the vote on no deal today.”