Thank you for contacting me about food tariffs and EU negotiations.
I appreciate your concerns about the potential impact on food prices of no further agreement resulting from UK-EU negotiations.
If it is not possible to reach an agreement by the end of the transition period, then from 1st January 2021 the UK will apply the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) to EU imports, and the EU would apply its Common External Tariff (CET) to UK exports.
I understand that the Government has consulted with businesses and individuals across the UK on the development of the UKGT, which has been tailored to the needs of the UK economy. Indeed, the UKGT will be simpler and easier to use than the CET as it is calculated in pounds, brings in lower tariffs, rounds tariffs down and entirely removes all ‘nuisance tariffs’ previously set at under 2 per cent. Overall, with the UKGT just under 50 per cent of products will be zero tariff, compared to 27 per cent under the CET.
The UKGT also backs UK industries, for example, by keeping tariffs on agricultural products like lamb, beef and poultry, as well as maintaining a ten per cent tariff on cars and tariffs on the vast majority of ceramics imports. At the same time, the UKGT will remove tariffs on £30 billion worth of imports entering UK supply chains.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.