UK will set out tariff plan only if decides to leave EU with no deal: minister

Britain's Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark is seen outside of Downing Street in London
Britain’s Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark is seen outside of Downing Street in London, Britain, March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

March 6, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will set out its approach to tariffs on imported goods only if it has taken a decision to leave the European Union without a deal, business minister Greg Clark said on Wednesday.

Britain currently has tariff-free access to EU markets and it benefits from EU trade deals with other countries. But its exports will automatically face tariffs if it leaves on March 29 without a transition deal.

Businesses have been waiting to find out whether the government will then impose reciprocal tariffs on imports from the EU. Parliament is due to hold votes next week to determine whether it will accept an agreed divorce deal with the EU, leave with no deal or ask for a delay.

“This would only arise if we leave without a deal on March 29,” Clark told BBC Radio.

“So in those circumstances the work is continuing on developing and finalizing those tariff schedules but they will be published…once we knew that we were leaving without a deal on March 29,” he said.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by James Davey)

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