Blouses and male swimwear could cost more under no-deal Brexit

A revision to the temporary tariff regime that would take effect in a no-deal Brexit could mean some clothing prices going up.

The government released an updated list of imports that would face tariffs on Tuesday morning following consultations with industry and consumer groups.

It builds on the first temporary tariff regime, released in March ahead of the country’s original deadline to leave the EU.

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Then, ministers said that 87% of imports would face zero tariffs – extra charges – for entering the UK for a period of 12 months until more permanent structures could be put in place.

Ahead of the latest cutoff date of 31 October, the Department for International Trade (DIT) said that figure had now risen to 88%.

Under the revised plan tariffs on trucks would be limited to 10% while fewer bioethanol products would be covered by tariffs.

The main changes focused on clothing that would now be the subject of tariffs of up to 12% to protect UK producers.

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Such costs could be passed on to consumers.

The items, the department said, were women’s or girls’ blouses, trousers or jackets made of cotton or wool.

Male pyjamas and swimwear were also included, along with woollen cardigans and jumpers.

The government has left some protections in place for carmakers and farmers though many other industries will face cheaper competition from abroad in the event of a no-deal exit.

The Bank of England has warned that, should the UK leave without a deal in 23 days’ time, the pound would be expected to plunge in value in a shock for the economy.

The temporary tariff regime is designed to help smooth the surge in import costs from a weaker pound.

The government has pointed to a fundamentally strong UK economy with record employment and wage growth outstripping inflation for more than a year-and-a-half.

Trade policy minister, Conor Burns, said: “The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October and we are working with businesses to ensure the UK is ready to trade from day one.

“Our temporary tariff regime will support the UK economy as a whole, helping British businesses to trade and opening up opportunities for business to import the best goods from around the world at the best prices for British consumers.

“The UK is a free trading nation and British business is in a strong position to compete in an open, free-trading environment.”

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