UK Government Must Aim For A Zero-Tariff Trade Deal With The EU: BRC
British consumers are at a risk of facing higher costs and reduced availability of goods without a comprehensive trade deal with the EU, the British Retail Consortium has said.
In a new report, titled 'A Fair Deal for Consumers', the consortium has listed the retail industry’s priorities for the government's upcoming negotiations with the EU.
Zero-Tariff Trade Deal
The list includes a zero-tariff trade deal, co-operation with the EU to minimise trade friction, and advance information on new checks and paperwork.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, explained, “The issue is simple – higher tariffs and extensive checks will harm consumers, retailers, and the UK economy. The government must set about to negotiate a zero-tariff agreement that minimises checks and red tape otherwise it will be consumers who suffer as a result."
The negotiation for a trade deal is significant because UK retailers import around 80% of food from the EU.
Dover and Folkestone, the UK’s largest roll-on/roll-off ports, handle almost 7,000 lorries of imports every day.
Import And Export Processes
The consortium has urged the government to establish import and export processes and all necessary infrastructure at the earliest to avoid friction at the border.
Dickinson added, “The introduction of excessive or avoidable checks would mean businesses face a mountain of paperwork to be filled out by an army of newly trained staff, coupled with exhaustive checks on thousands of lorries every day. And the result for consumers would be higher costs and reduced availability on the shelves.”
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.