Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Gove wins tariff battle

Recent events may give the impression that a no deal Brexit is off the table, but it may merely have been postponed until the end of June. It is therefore significant that Theresa May has ruled in favour of Michael Gove in a battle over tariffs on sensitive agricultural goods.

There was a clash between Gove and chancellor Philip Hammond with the latter taking what he saw as the side of consumers while Gove argued for tariff protection.

Existing high EU tariffs will be maintained on beef and lamb. General duties will retained for pork products, milk and cheese. Products such as sugar will have tariffs to maintain duty free access from developing countries.

Quite what the Irish Republic will make of the prospect of high tariffs on beef, which will have to apply to them, remains to be seen. It may increase their efforts to find a workable solution to the Irish border issue.

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