A joint statement on planned WTO tariff rate quotas post-Brexit from the NZ Food and Beverage Exporters
Stephen Jacobi’s address to the Canterbury Club Christchurch, 27th March 2019.
In anticipation of no Brexit on the 29th, the UK has released a new temporary post-Brexit tariff schedule. Nearly 90 percent of imports would become duty-free overnight, but some sensitive NZ exports would still face tariffs and tariff rate quotas (TRQs).
Less than two weeks before “B-Day”, the Brexit process has descended into disarray. There is still a risk that the UK will crash out of the EU on or shortly after 29 March with no deal in place, notwithstanding King Canute-like attempts to avert this. Perhaps more likely, however, there is a prospect of a long delay of months or years – or equally that PM May’s original Withdrawal Agreement will finally be agreed, meaning in effect status quo ante for trade until the end of 2020. All of this leaves business – including New Zealand exporters – with little certainty, even as the clock ticks down to Brexit.
A mere 64 days before the UK is due to leave the European Union, the UK-EU-NZ trade picture remains shrouded in the chill mists of confusion. During her visit to London this week, the Prime Minister announced two welcome new UK-NZ agreements on aspects of our trade relationship but it may not be enough.
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