Ethanol Imports: Tariff Schedule

Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons on 5th September 2019.

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Photo of Anna Turley Anna Turley Labour/Co-operative, Redcar

What plans the Government have to publish a tariff schedule for ethanol imports in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK would implement a temporary tariff regime. This would apply for up to 12 months while a full consultation takes place and a review of a permanent approach is undertaken.

Photo of Anna Turley Anna Turley Labour/Co-operative, Redcar

I appreciate the Secretary of State’s response and the letter I received from the Department for International Trade this morning, but in the meetings we had with the Department we were told that biofuels would not be covered by the protection tariffs. Ensus in my constituency tells me that the fear of a no-deal Brexit is already harming business. We know that a no-deal Brexit without tariff protection will kill British biofuels, end jobs and leave us relying on imports. Will the Secretary of State commit to working with his colleagues to maintain tariff protection on ethanol before it is too late?

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The hon. Lady raises a legitimate issue in a constructive way, and I am very happy to work with her because she is championing a genuine issue on behalf of her constituents. There is always a balance in setting tariffs between protecting consumers and the issues for producers. It is about how we calibrate those two sometimes competing issues. She will understand that within the market— within the industry—there is domestic pressure, regardless of Brexit, but I am very happy to work with her on that issue.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire

The Secretary of State will be aware from Yellowhammer that the proposed tariff regime under a no deal creates very specific risks for the UK oil-refining sector. Given that the Valero refinery in Pembroke is the largest and most important private sector employer in west Wales, will the Minister tell me what the plan is for protecting the UK refining sector if we end up leaving the EU without a deal?

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

My right hon. Friend will know that concerns have been raised by the industry in respect of that. Pertaining to the answer that I gave a moment ago, existing questions within that market are also a factor. I am very happy to have further discussions with him, as I am with Anna Turley, because a number of issues come into play for that industry.

Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)

There is a group of medicines that simply cannot be stockpiled and which rely on an uninterrupted supply of imports. Will the Secretary of State give a 100% guarantee that none of my constituents will suffer a shortage of that type of medicine as a result of a no-deal Brexit?

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

As I said, we have not only put in place an additional procurement framework in terms of capacity, but we have procured an express freight service to deliver small consignments on a 24-hour basis, and a two-to-four day pallet-delivery service. These issues are being addressed by the Department and a huge amount of work is going on exactly on that issue.