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The food industry has welcomed the announcement of Brexit trade tariffs that could protect domestic producers against cheaper agricultural imports.
The Government recently announced the new UK Global Tariff regime, which could protect the country’s producers against cheaper import prices and lower food standards.
Set to replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1st January 2021, the new tariff will apply to all agricultural imports from countries with which the UK has not already set out a preferential trade agreement.
However, zero tariffs will still apply to various imported goods, including those from Turkey, which could make them cheaper for consumers. The Government also plans to scrap “unnecessary” tariff variations that had been applied during its EU membership, including over 13,000 variations on products such as pizza, confectionery, biscuits and spreads. Tariffs have also been removed on food products that the UK does not produce, or produces little of, including olives.
The tariff aims to support UK businesses as well as the homegrown food industry. Applied in pounds rather than euros, it is said to be simpler for traders to use as it will be rounded down, as well as being a lower regime than the EU’s.
Speaking about the new tariff, International 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.
“With this straightforward approach, we are backing UK industry and helping businesses overcome the unprecedented economic challenges posed by Coronavirus.”
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