Wednesday 18 September 2019

UK unveils 'no-deal' customs plan

British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the legislation would help the UK ‘seize this unprecedented opportunity’
British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the legislation would help the UK ‘seize this unprecedented opportunity’

Colm Kelpie

The UK government has published legislation allowing it to slap duties on imports in the event of a hard Brexit.

The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill will allow it to implement a standalone customs regime once it leaves the EU.

The UK Treasury said the Bill would help ensure that goods can move "smoothly and safely in and out of the UK, and that everyone pays the right tax".

London has previously said that it would apply the same customs duty to every country with which it does not have a trade deal, and that the scale of that duty would be set out before the country formally pulls out of the bloc.

The Bill's publication shows that the UK government is preparing for the scenario that it might crash out of the EU without a deal.

The Treasury also said that the legislation would allow the Government to implement different outcomes of the EU negotiations, including an implementation period.

The Bill follows the publication in October of the White Paper legislating for the UK's future customs, VAT and excise regimes, which set out the key objectives of the new laws.

The Bill will allow London to charge and vary customs duty on goods, specify which goods are subject to what duty, and set preferential or additional duties in certain circumstances.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the legislation will help the UK "seize this unprecedented opportunity to boost British businesses and support a global trade system that works for the UK".

The Bill was also backed by UK Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Irish Independent

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