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Brexit: Price Rises Unless UK Can Copy EU Trade Deals

Brexit: Price Rises Unless UK Can Copy EU Trade Deals

British Retail Consortium says everyday products such as food and clothing could rise when UK leaves the bloc.

Consumers face rising prices after Brexit unless Britain can replicate trade deals negotiated by the EU with dozens of other countries, the British Retail Consortium has warned.

The BRC’s chief executive, Helen Dickinson, said the cost of everyday products from food to clothing would go up if the UK lost the preferential arrangements it enjoys as a member of the EU.

Currently, she said, Britain benefits from zero or low tariffs on various imports from trade deals struck by the EU with 73 third-party countries.

As it stands, those arrangements will come to an end the moment Britain leaves the EU.

“On 29 March 2019 we fall out of all of those agreements. On that minute after we leave, those arrangements cease to apply to the UK,” Dickinson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“So what is important between now and 2019 is that the UK gets on with the job in hand in terms of focusing on at least replicating existing arrangements just to get us back to where we are at the moment.’’

“We are talking here about everyday products that people buy week in, week out. Fish from Norway, wine from South Africa, clothes from Turkey – each of those have lower tariff rates on them than would exist if we didn’t have those deals in place.”

The tariff on clothing from Turkey, a major supplier to the UK, could rise from zero to 12%, and duties on fish from Iceland could go from 3.4% to 11%, the Guardian reports.

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