UK's new Global Tariff will offer some safeguards for farming sector

The government’s new import tariff regime will provide certainty for farmers by largely maintaining import tariffs at present levels, the NFU said after legislation implementing the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) was laid in Parliament.
calendar icon 22 December 2020
clock icon 5 minute read

“Of course, these new tariff costs would come into force on imports from the EU in a no-deal scenario, which no-one wants to see. Such an outcome would have severe ramifications for the long-term future of British farming, despite the important protections the UKGT will provide. I would stress the importance of reaching a deal with the EU for our nation’s food and drink sector, which is currently worth more than £120 billion to the national economy.

“However, I am incredibly disappointed that the government is pressing ahead with an enormous tariff-free quota for raw sugar imports, which will have an extremely detrimental effect on the home-grown sugar sector by undermining them with imports produced in ways prohibited in this country.

“The government’s justification suggests that the price of sugar ‘would be no different’ as a result of the tariff-free quota but also that it ‘is in the interests of UK consumers’. It is hard to square these two assertions, and it is very difficult to understand what exactly this quota serves to achieve, apart from harming a successful home-grown industry.”

“Of course, these new tariff costs would come into force on imports from the EU in a no-deal scenario, which no-one wants to see. Such an outcome would have severe ramifications for the long-term future of British farming, despite the important protections the UKGT will provide. I would stress the importance of reaching a deal with the EU for our nation’s food and drink sector, which is currently worth more than £120 billion to the national economy.

“However, I am incredibly disappointed that the government is pressing ahead with an enormous tariff-free quota for raw sugar imports, which will have an extremely detrimental effect on the home-grown sugar sector by undermining them with imports produced in ways prohibited in this country.

“The government’s justification suggests that the price of sugar ‘would be no different’ as a result of the tariff-free quota but also that it ‘is in the interests of UK consumers’. It is hard to square these two assertions, and it is very difficult to understand what exactly this quota serves to achieve, apart from harming a successful home-grown industry.”

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