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No deal Brexit: No tariffs for Irish goods going to NI

14 March 2019

However, there would be no checks between Northern Ireland and Britain.

It comes after Prime Minister Theresa May's amended Withdrawal Agreement was defeated in a second vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening. The UK government has stated that it would closely monitor the effects of these tariffs on the UK economy.

Tariffs on beef, lamb, pork, poultry and some dairy would be reduced but retained in most cases. "The tariff plans emphasise why a no deal Brexit must be avoided".

But it would also expose many manufacturers to cheaper competition from overseas and, if maintained, low or zero tariffs would deprive Britain of ammunition for extracting concessions from other countries in future trade talks.

No deal Brexit: No tariffs for Irish goods going to NI
No deal Brexit: No tariffs for Irish goods going to NI

Zero tariffs would be applied to items such as footwear, aluminium and steel, machinery, paper and wood products, and weapons and ammunition.

But Britain would slash tariffs elsewhere on the vast majority of goods entering the country.

To keep the Irish border open, it also says there would be no checks or customs declarations for most goods passing from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland.

Instead, normal compliance and intelligence methods will be used to detect any traders attempting to abuse the system.

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The government recognises that Northern Ireland's businesses and farmers will have concerns about the impact that the government's approach will have on their competitiveness.

It stated: "These are the only steps the United Kingdom government can unilaterally take to deliver on our absolute commitment to avoid a hard border in the event of no deal".

Under the new regime for Northern Ireland, goods arriving from the Republic will still be subject to the same Value-Added Tax and excise duty as at present.

To protect human, animal and plant health, animals and animal products from outside the European Union would be required to enter Northern Ireland through a designated entry point, while regulated plant materials from outside the European Union and high-risk plants from inside Europe will require certification and pre-notification.

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Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said: "The Government has been clear that a deal with the European Union is the best outcome for Northern Ireland".

"Most important thing for us in Ireland is that their decision to leave shouldn't cause problems in Northern Ireland where people voted to stay", he said.

Meanwhile, the Ulster Farmer's Union suggested that the plans announced on Wednesday would be equally damaging for Northern Irish farmers. These arrangements can only be temporary and short-term. The government is committed to entering into discussions with the European Commission and the Irish Government as a matter of urgency.

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No deal Brexit: No tariffs for Irish goods going to NI