No-deal Brexit: Breakdown of temporary United Kingdom tariffs on beef

Cheryl Sanders
March 14, 2019

The Government's contingency plans were revealed on Wednesday morning, ahead of the Spring Statement and a crucial no-deal Brexit vote in parliament.

But tariffs would be imposed on some imports from the EU. The UK government has stated that it would closely monitor the effects of these tariffs on the UK economy. However, there would be no checks between Northern Ireland and Britain.

Ministers said today that products from the European Union including beef, pork, chicken, butter, cheese and fish would also be subject to import taxes expected to push up prices in the supermarkets from March 29 if there is no deal.

If the plan is a scare tactic to encourage MPs to vote in favour of the withdrawal agreement if it comes back before the House of Commons for a third time, business in Northern Ireland will not be happy to have been deployed as cannon fodder.

The UK temporary import tariff announced today would therefore not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland.


ING economist James Smith told Euronews that a new United Kingdom tariff regime would have to be offset against the likely cost from a fall in the pound and market turmoil, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The UK will not introduce any new checks or controls on goods moving across the land border into Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, it has been announced.

Rates include beef (53 per cent of MFN), poultry meat (60 per cent), sheep meat (100 per cent), pig meat (13 per cent), butter (32 per cent), Cheddar-like cheese (13 per cent), protected fish and seafood products (100 per cent) and milled and semi-milled products (83 per cent).

But they said these were the only steps that could be taken to deliver on the Government's commitment to avoiding a hard border in the case of no deal.

Coveney said that the move could inflict €800m (£696m) in damage to Ireland's agriculture sector, since it would be forced to compete with goods from countries like Brazil.


Small businesses trading across the border will be able to report Value-Added Tax online without any new processes at the border.

Businesses in the Republic will be able to sell goods tariff-free into Northern Ireland but the same will not apply to goods going the other way.

"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", Trade Policy Minister George Hollingbery said.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said the government was clear that a deal with the European Union was "the best outcome for Northern Ireland".

The decision to refrain from checks at the Irish border would be temporary while longer term solutions were negotiated.


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