Business: West Midlands

Treasury written question – answered on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential economic effect on businesses in the West Midlands of the proposals set out in the Tax Information and Impact Note for the UK Tariff 2019.

Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential economic effect on businesses in the West Midlands of the provisions in the Tax Information and Impact Note for the UK Tariff 2019.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

The temporary tariff regime has been designed with the aim of minimising disruption across the UK. The Government believes the policy strikes the right balance between avoiding high adjustment costs and protecting businesses from unfair trade in some sectors, and liberalising tariffs to maintain current supply chains and to avoid an increase in consumer prices.

The impacts on businesses in the West Midlands stemming from this policy will depend on firms’ reliance on imports from the EU and the extent to which they are already exposed to competition from the rest of the world. For some businesses, there will be potential benefits in terms of not having tariffs imposed on imports from the EU (as is currently the case), particularly where businesses rely on EU goods as inputs or as final goods for sale. However, for other businesses, lowering the UK’s tariffs could expose them to greater levels of competition from the rest of the world, which may create adjustment costs for these firms.

This is a temporary policy that will apply for up to 12 months in the event of no deal. During this temporary period, a full review, including a public consultation, would be undertaken in order to develop a permanent tariff regime.

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