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Agriculture and Brexit Britain’s ‘No-deal’ tariff plans

Swinbank, A. (2019) Agriculture and Brexit Britain’s ‘No-deal’ tariff plans. EuroChoices, 18 (3). pp. 4-9. ISSN 1478-0917

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1746-692X.12244


In March 2019 the UK government published details of the import tariffs it planned to apply in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit from the EU. Some 88 per cent of the UK’s imports — including many agri-food products — would enter tariff-free. This proposed unilateral reduction in border protection promoted few protests from the UK’s farm lobby, in marked contrast to the reaction voiced by EU farmers to the planned trade agreement with Mercosur. Trade diplomats are often loath to contemplate unilateral tariff cuts, as these could later form a crucial part of a bargain in multilateral or bilateral trade deals. Indeed, the UK’s ‘no-deal’ tariff plan could undermine its objective of concluding ambitious Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the likes of Australia and the USA. Despite these developments in agri-trade policy, UK politicians continued to express concern about the viability of UK agriculture in a ‘no-deal’ scenario, and some promised to lavish tax-payer-funded support on the sector. Thus both free (or freer) trade and agricultural exceptionalism were canvassed cheek by jowl.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:88154


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