British retail consortium releases ‘Brexit Tariff Roadmap’

By Louis Gore-Langton

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags International trade World trade organization British retail consortium

The British food industry will face a serious hike in prices unless a tariff deal is struck, says trade association British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC, which represents 80% of retail trade in the UK by turnover, released a report this morning detailing its plans to aid the UK government through the Brexit processes and outlining initial advice.

The report​, entitled: ‘A fair Brexit for consumers: The tariff road map for the next government' emphasises the importance of consumer interests in striking the best possible deals with Europe.

Arguing for neither a hard nor a soft Brexit […] our efforts should concentrate on mapping out what a smart Brexit looks like for the UK”, ​the BRC says government and industry should be fully aware that Brexit presents both important risks and opportunities.

Highlighted threats included a possible 46% tariff for cheese and 21% for tomatoes. On average, tariffs for food goods would be 21% - if the UK were to default to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

BRC therefore stressed that a tariff deal should be the government's top priority in order to avoid the "cliff edge scenario" ​of WTO rules, and that similar deals can now be struck with non-EU nations. 

The report also highlighted the opportunity the upcoming general election on June 8 presents for the industry to mount pressure on government to make promises and begin preparations for a fair transition. 

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