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Tariffs on imports after EU Exit

The Government is publishing information on essential policies which would need to be in place if the UK were to leave without a deal.

This approach was outlined by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on 12 March 2019 to ensure MPs are fully informed before the vote on No Deal on 13 March 2019.


The information, aimed towards business, includes the government’s approach to customs duty, which is a tax you pay when importing goods.

The rate of customs duty you pay is known as the ‘tariff’.

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you may need to pay different rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports. These rates would only be applied if the UK were to leave the EU with no deal.

The UK government would set temporary rates which would:

  • apply from 11pm on 29 March 2019
  • be in place for up to 12 months from 29 March 2019

Here is a list of the temporary rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports after EU Exit.

MFN and tariff quota rates of customs duty on imports if the UK leaves the EU with no deal

Preferential tariff rates
A preferential tariff rate would apply if the country:

  • has a free trade agreement with the UK
  • is part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences
  • If a preferential tariff rate applies, this is the rate of customs duty (tariff) you would pay.

    Most-favoured-nation (MFN) tariff rates

    If a preferential tariff rate does not apply, this is the rate of customs duty (tariff) you would pay.

    Tariff quota rates (TRQ)

    If a tariff quota rate applies, you could apply to import a limited amount at a reduced rate of customs duty (tariff). You would need to claim for the tariff rate quota using the TRQ order number.

    Worker rights after the UK withdrawal from the EU

    Parliament, trade unions and businesses will be given a new and enhanced role in shaping the future of workers’ rights after Brexit, the Prime Minister announced today.


    The new measures will protect and improve workers’ rights after the UK leaves the EU and this follows the government’s commitment in December to the largest upgrade to workers’ rights in a generation.

    The government has made a commitment not to reduce the standards of workers’ rights from EU laws retained in UK law and will ensure that new legislation changing those laws will be assessed as to whether they uphold this commitment.

    Parliament will be given the right through the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to consider any future changes in EU law that strengthen workers’ rights or workplace health and safety standards, and vote on whether they too should be adopted into UK law.

    The measures will require Parliament to be given regular updates on changes to EU legislation in this area and will give MPs a choice on the action government will take in response, including whether MPs want to decide that the UK should remain aligned with the EU. In preparing those updates, trade unions, businesses and the relevant select committees of Parliament will be consulted with.

    This new process will start with 2 EU Directives that come into force after we have left and following the Implementation Period – the Work Life Balance Directive and the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive. The government has voted in favour of both of these directives in the European Council and intends to ask Parliament if it wants to adopt them into UK law.

    The Work Life Balance Directive introduces new rights for parents and carers, such as 2 months of paid leave for each parent up until the child is 8 and also 5 days of leave for those caring for sick relatives.

    The Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive will set the terms of employment for workers by their first working day and provides more stability if you work in shifts. The government is already committed to many of these measures.

    Prime Minister Theresa May said:

    “We have as a country led the way in workers’ rights while maintaining a flexible labour market. The enormous success of our jobs market and the wealth of opportunities for workers across the nation have long been underpinned by the policies and standards that exceed the minimums set by the EU and that has been driven by successive governments of all parties.

    After Brexit it should be for Parliament to decide what rules are most appropriate, rather than automatically accepting EU changes. When it comes to workers’ rights this Parliament has set world-leading standards and will continue to do so in the future, taking its own decisions working closely with trade unions and businesses.”

    Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

    “The United Kingdom has a proud tradition of establishing and improving the rights of working men and women from Shaftesbury’s Factories Acts, through William Hague’s Disability Discrimination Act to the Minimum Wage introduced by a Labour government, bolstered into the National Living Wage by a Conservative government.

    While the EU sets minimum requirements in many areas of workers’ rights, time and again the UK has led the way and chosen to exceed them. We are determined to maintain this record of leadership outside the EU. Yet it is a fact that some people felt that the rights of workers would not be adequately addressed, so as part of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill we will ensure parliament is given a vote on the action government will take in response to changes to EU legislation on workers’ rights.”

    There will also be an extra package of measures to strengthen enforcement of workers’ rights.

    Proposals include bringing a range of enforcement bodies under one roof. Currently, HMRC enforces the national minimum and living wages; the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority investigates reports of exploitation and illegal activity in the workplace; and the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate protects the rights of agency workers.

    Proposals for a single labour market enforcement body will be brought forward in the coming months. It would have the power, for example, to enforce holiday payments for vulnerable workers and ensure agency workers are not underpaid. It would also have a duty to consult unions and employment unions on its work.


    Common Travel Area Guidance

    by Politicker 0 Comments

    A document has been issued by the UK Government providing guidance for UK and Irish Citizens on their rights under the Common Travel Area arrangements.

    The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the Crown Dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey; Bailiwick of Guernsey; Isle of Man) and Ireland.

    The CTA established cooperation between respective immigration authorities enabling British and Irish citizens to move freely between, and reside in, these islands.

    British and Irish citizens enjoy additional rights in Ireland and the UK. These include the right to work, study and vote in certain elections, as well as to access social welfare benefits and health services.

    If you are a British citizen or an Irish citizen you do not need to take any action to protect your status and rights associated with the CTA. After the UK leaves the EU, you will continue to enjoy these rights, no matter what the terms of the UK’s exit. Both the UK and Irish Governments have committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that the agreed CTA rights and privileges are protected in all outcomes.

    Details at


    UK citizens visa-free travel to the EU after Brexit

    by Politicker 0 Comments

    The EU Commission today (13 December 2018) proposed to grant UK citizens visa-free travel to the EU after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. It is separate to the ongoing negotiations on the UK’s orderly withdrawal.


    Is travel by UK citizens to the EU important to the EU ?

    Residents in the United Kingdom undertook 53 million trips to the EU-27 in 2016, whether for business, leisure or other purposes, spending about EUR 28 billion while in the other Member States. Imposing a visa requirement on United Kingdom nationals who are British citizens could diminish the economic benefit for the Union that results from these trips, reduce trade relations and harm the economic interest of the Union.

    For more details, see the following document by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (referenced by the proposal)

    The economic importance of UK outbound tourism to the EU27 economies. September 2017

    (copy pdf)

    The EU is proposing that

    The proposal would mean that UK citizens would not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. In the scenario where the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this would apply as of 30 March 2019. If a deal is reached, however, it would apply as of the end of the transition period, as outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement. This follows the Commission’s continued commitment that citizens’ rights must come first in the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

    This proposal is entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel for all EU Member States, in line with the principle of visa reciprocity. The UK government has declared its intention not to require a visa from citizens of the EU27 Member States for shorts stays for the purposes of tourism and business. EU rules on non-EU nationals travelling to the EU, such as those on border control, would of course apply to UK citizens once they are no longer EU citizens.

    Today’s proposal is one of the preparedness measures needed as a consequence of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. It is separate to the ongoing negotiations on the UK’s orderly withdrawal.

    The proposal needs to be adopted by the EU Parliament and the EU Council. The EU Commission has called on both institutions to make quick progress on this proposal so that it can be adopted in good time before 30 March 2019.

    However it’s worth noting the following paragraphs:

    Regulation (EU) 2017/222610 establishing an Entry/Exit system (EES) further improves the security and management of the Union’s external borders. The main objectives of this regulation are to improve the quality of border checks for third-country nationals and to ensure a systematic and reliable identification of overstayers. The future Entry/Exit system (EES) will thus be an important element to ensure lawful use of the visa-free stays in the Schengen area by third country nationals and to contribute to preventing irregular migration of nationals from visa-free countries.

    Regulation (EU) 2018/124011 establishing a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will close the information gap regarding travellers exempt from the requirement of being in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders. The system will determine the eligibility of visa-exempt third-country nationals prior to their travel to the Schengen area, and whether such travel poses a security, illegal immigration or high epidemic risk.

    This means that UK citizens will be required to follow the requirements of the European Visa Waiver and Electronic Travel Authorisation System (ETIAS) which is due to be introduced in 2020.

    Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation 539/2001

    EU Visa Proposal (copy pdf)

    In the spirit of reciprocity, which the EU is keen on, will the UK consider a similar sysem for EU citizens wishing to visit the UK ?

    ETIAS stands for EU Travel Information and Authorisation System

    The system will check the security credentials and charge a fee to travellers visiting EU member countries for business, tourism, medical or transit purposes. The current EU visa application and vetting procedures for entering the Schengen area depend only upon the citizenship of the visitor and are cost-free. The ETIAS, like the ESTA, will streamline this visa process for those people who do not need a visa at present but will undergo additional security checks prior to allowing entry into the EU. The ETIAS travel authorisation will be mandatory for citizens of countries who currently do not require visas to enter Europe.

    Information on ETIAS can be found at


    How will it work ?

    Application – The ETIAS must be applied for online prior to arrival to the EU. Each eligible traveller to the EU will require an ETIAS.

    Form fields – The following data will be required for each ETIAS application: personal biometric data (e.g. name, gender, data of birth, etc), passport or travel document information, EU member state of entry, background questions on an applicant’s health, criminal record as well as previous EU immigration history.

    Fee – The cost of an ETIAS is €7, however, individuals under the age of 18 will not need to pay the fee.

    Application process – Upon submission, each application will be checked across SIS / VIS / EUROPOL DATA / SLTD (Interpol) / EURODAC / ECRIS etc), the ETIAS screening rules as well as the ETIAS watchlist. If the application is matched to information from any of these databases, the application will undergo manual processing by the ETIAS Central and / or ETIAS National Units.

    Application Decision – Usually, a decision will be reached by the system within minutes. If an ETIAS application is approved, it will be issued for a period of three years or until the date of the applicant’s passport expiry, whichever date is sooner. If an ETIAS application is denied, the applicant will receive a reason for the refusal as well as information on the country or authority deciding against the ETIAS being approved.

    Boarding – The ETIAS can only be used for transit, tourism and business travel. As ETIAS will be checked by carriers prior to a traveller boarding by air, land or sea. If an ETIAS is not approved, the traveller will not be allowed to board the travel vessel, be it an airplane, boat or bus.

    Arrival at the EU – Upon entry into the Schengen zone, a border guard will make the decision on admitting a traveller based on the information in the EES system, the approved ETIAS, as well as the travel documents and disposition of the traveller.

    Galileo Project and the UK after Brexit

    by Politicker 0 Comments

    The Prime Minister has confirmed, in a Press Release, that the UK will not use Galileo for defence or critical national infrastructure after Brexit and will build its own Global Navigation Satellite System.


    The UK will explore options to build its own Global Navigation Satellite System that can help guide military drones, run energy networks and provide essential services for civilian smart phones. It will also work with the US to continue accessing its trusted GPS system.

    UK Space Agency (UKSA) is currently leading the work, with the full support of the Ministry of Defence, and any British system will provide both open and encrypted signals, giving it the same range of commercial and security applications as GPS and Galileo.

    British Armed Forces were due to have access to Galileo’s encrypted system when it is fully operational in 2026. However the National Cyber Security Centre and Ministry of Defence have concluded it would not be in the UK’s security interests to use the system’s secure elements if it had not been fully involved in their development.

    The Prime Minister, Theresa May said:

    I have been clear from the outset that the UK will remain firmly committed to Europe’s collective security after Brexit. But given the Commission’s decision to bar the UK from being fully involved in developing all aspects of Galileo it is only right that we find alternatives. I cannot let our Armed Services depend on a system we cannot be sure of. That would not be in our national interest. And as a global player with world-class engineers and steadfast allies around the world we are not short of options.

    In August the Prime Minister tasked British engineering and aerospace experts to develop options and set aside £92 million for the plans. Since then over fifty UK companies have expressed interest in the project and a series of key contracts are now being tendered.

    When commissioning options the PM set out that the British system must be compatible with the US GPS system, meaning that if either were subject to malicious attack the other could provide crucial positioning information.

    The Prime Minister has also confirmed that the UK is in close contact with key international allies on plans for the national system.

    The UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies would be used to provide the global network of locations needed for the necessary ground-based infrastructure and worldwide coverage.

    Recent estimates indicate that over 11 per cent of the UK’s GDP is directly supported by satellite navigation systems and the Blackett review estimated that a failure of service could cost the UK economy £1 billion a day. Resilient and secure position, navigation and timing services are increasingly essential for defence, critical national infrastructure and emergency response.

    The UK is a world-leader in developing satellite technology. Britain has a 40% share of the global export market for small satellites and makes major components for one in four of the world’s telecommunications satellites. Glasgow builds more satellites than any other European city. The UK has particular expertise in security, cryptography and satellite manufacture, and has manufactured all of the Galileo satellite payloads to date.

    As part of the modern Industrial Strategy the government is committed to growing the UK space sector – helping create 30,000 high-skilled jobs by 2030.