Potential winners and losers from revised tariff arrangements

  • Insight

13 March 2019

The UK Government’s announcement today, of an updated draft of the UK’s proposed WTO tariff schedule, which would apply in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, will have different impacts across different sectors and individual business trading patterns.

There is potential for winners and losers from the revised tariffs, which are intended to be temporary. The tariff schedule descriptions are very specific, making assessing the impact of changes to any particular business let alone across a sector or the wider economy difficult to determine in the abstract.

Pending any UK free trade agreements with specific countries entering into force, the revised tariffs will apply from the point of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit to goods imported from not just the EU but elsewhere around the globe too.  The multiple layers of sourcing in manufacturing and distribution mean that even the most ‘Scottish’ of products sold locally often rely, to a surprisingly high degree, on things imported from elsewhere.  We’d advise companies now to research the customs tariffs which would be applicable to their business in the event of a no-deal.

For an explanation of the World Trade Organisation trading terms, please see our recent article and our Brexit business checklist to help Scottish business with scenario planning for trading through Brexit in whatever form it takes.

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