There have been unconfirmed reports that, in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, the Government could slash tariffs on imported goods by between 80% and 90%.
Nicky Morgan, who chairs the Treasury Committee, has now written to Chancellor Philip Hammond to ask whether this is indeed the current Treasury position on tariff policy.
She has requested that the Chancellor provides the Committee with this information before next week’s scheduled meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement.
Mrs Morgan has also requested that the Chancellor provides an update to the Committee of the Government’s economic analysis produced in December. This should incorporate regional and sectoral analyses of both removing and maintaining tariffs, and also set out how the UK’s ability to negotiate new trade deals would be impacted in the event of tariffs being removed.
The full text of her letter, which notes the likely significant impacts of major tariff cuts on different business sectors and different regions within the economy, can be found here.
“MPs should not have to read reports in the press that the Government is planning to slash tariffs on almost all imported goods,” Mrs Morgan said in a statement accompanying her letter. “At present, MPs are expected to vote blindly next week without this information.”
She has reminded the Chancellor that he told the Treasury Committee that the maximum amount of analysis should be put in the public domain when a deal is put before Parliament.
Last reviewed 7 March 2019