“This is no way to run a country,” Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, told the BBC. “What we are potentially going to see is this imposition of new terms of trade at the same time as business is blocked out of its closest trading partner. This is a sledgehammer for our economy.”
The government also said any tariffs won’t apply to goods imported into Northern Ireland from Ireland. There will be a “temporary, unilateral approach” that wouldn’t require checks at the Irish land border.
According to the Temporary Tariff Regime, 87 percent of goods by value will be eligible for tariff-free access, compared with 80 percent currently. The remainder, including some meat and dairy, as well as finished cars, will be subject to tariffs to protect domestic industry. The list doesn’t include car parts imported from the European Union.
The U.K. will also retain existing tariffs in areas including fuel and ceramics as a protection against “unfair global trading practices,” such as dumping.
The rates proposed by the U.K. would be lower than currently set by the EU in many areas, ranging from 60 percent of the EU’s most-favored nation rate for poultry meat to 13 percent of the rate for cheese and pig meat.
On finished cars and trucks, the U.K. would apply a 10.6 percent tariff, compared to the 11.3 percent the EU charges most-favored nations.
On textiles, the U.K. would apply 0.9 percent, compared to the EU’s 8 percent. And footwear, on which the EU applies an 8.2 percent tariff, would be tariff-free into the U.K.