No-deal tariffs shake-up as ministers gear up for 'do or die' Brexit

Press quote (The Telegraph)
08 October 2019

Sam Lowe, a trade expert at the Centre for European Reform, described the no-deal tariff plans as a “quite an extensive unilateral liberalisation” in order to keep prices low. It would make post-Brexit Britain one of the most open countries in the world.

Under the World Trade Organisation’s “most favoured nation” rules, the UK is legally unable to lower tariffs for the EU alone. He said: “The rationale is that they want to keep tariffs low on EU imports. On day one they are still going to be our main market. So you don’t want tariffs to shoot up all of a sudden as prices will just shoot up.”

Lowe adds: “It is a balancing act between trying to keep prices low - or at least stave off price rises - while not throwing some UK industries under the bus and giving the UK something to negotiate in free trade deals.”