Britain will inherit EU trade tariffs

Liam Fox: “The government will prepare the necessary draft schedules which replicate as far as possible our current obligations”Leon Neal/Getty Images

Britain will use EU tariff levels as a starting point in its trade negotiations with the rest of the world, the government said. The move risks angering Brexit-backers pushing for a clean break with the status quo.

Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, told parliament yesterday that his department had begun preparing the draft schedule of tariffs that it will submit to the World Trade Organisation. This will set out the maximum duties the UK will charge on imports. Britain would be free to apply tariffs below the maximum it submitted for the approval of the WTO’s 163 members.

The Economists for Brexit group has said that retaining EU tariffs after leaving the single market would push up food prices and represent “the worst of…

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