Government drops plans to slash post-Brexit tariffs on agricultural goods

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The Government has dropped plans to slash tariffs on imports of pork products and other agricultural products from the start of next year, following strong industry lobbying.

The move has been welcomed by industry bodies, including the NPA and the UK farming unions, which have pointed out, however, that the Government will still have the capacity to cut tariffs in individual trade deals with other countries.

On Tuesday morning, the Government announced the UK’s new Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff regime, the UK Global Tariff, which will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on January 1 2021, at the end of the Transition Period. These are the default tariffs that are offered to all countries, before any direct ‘free trade agreements’ are made with individual nations.

The regime scraps and simplifies a number of tariffs, for example on products like biscuits, pizzas and confectionary.

But it maintains tariffs on pork products, and many other agricultural goods, at current EU levels,with adjustments made for currency. This has been done in a reversal of previous proposal to slash tariffs on agricultural goods to ‘support businesses in every region and nation of the UK to thrive’, the Government said.

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