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.