EU GAFFERS Liam Fox in Brexit howler as his team admits Brit businesses could be left facing crippling tariffs on EU deals OFFICIALS insist the announcement had been a blunder, dubbing it 'a draft which was published in error'
Officials insist the announcement had been a blunder, dubbing it ‘a draft which was published in error’
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox’s department was forced to hastily withdraw the announcement on its website within hours of posting it.
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No swift new trade deal with the remaining 27 EU nations would mean reverting to World Trade Organisation rules for a while, the ministry said.
But MPs leaped on the admission to insist that could leave British businesses having to pay crippling tariffs on their exports.
They include a 10% levy on cars and 12% on clothes sold to the EU.
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Chairman of Vote Leave Watch and Labour MP Chuka Umunna said: “Being forced to trade with the EU under WTO rules would be a hammer blow for the British economy.
“Liam Fox urgently needs to come clean on this vital issue.
“He must make clear if it is the position of the government that the UK should leave the EU without negotiating a preferential trade agreement.”
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Officials insisted the announcement had been a blunder, dubbing it “a draft which was published in error”.
A Department for International Trade spokeswoman said: “Our priority will be to get the best deal for Britain, and this includes allowing British companies to trade with the single market in goods and services.
“There will be a process of negotiation and it would be wrong to set out further unilateral positions in advance or speculate on what our future trading relationship will be with the EU.”