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Hurried tariffs with no thought of winners and losers no solution to no deal Brexit

Posted by Warwick Business School at 13 March 2019, 14:50 CET |
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Expert comment from Nigel Driffield, professor of international business at Warwick Business School.

"This is still just about the internal workings of the Conservative Party.

"The Government's priority should be to remove 'no deal' as an option to protect UK jobs and access to the single market. That is what businesses have been crying out for from the outset.

"Instead they are proposing to cut tariffs in a hurry in the event of a no deal Brexit, with no clear thought of likely winners and losers.

"When we last did trade policy, the UK did detailed cost-benefit analysis of where we expected to gain and where we expected to lose. Leaving with a no deal this month would leave no time for that.

"Those who have argued that "managed no deal" offers certainty could not be further from the truth.

"In trading terms there can be nothing more uncertain than not knowing ones trading schedule, in terms of both tariff and non-tariff barriers and other associated frictions.

"A 'no deal' would render UK firms at a significant disadvantage and lead more firms to conclude that they need to move at least some activities to the EU.

"It will also make it more difficult for European businesses to invest in the UK economy, which could put almost 20 per cent of current jobs – including relatively 'good jobs' - at risk."

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