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BRC warns that UK shoppers will suffer if there is no comprehensive EU trade deal

The British Retail Consortium has warned that shoppers will face higher costs and reduced availability of goods if the UK and EU fail to negotiate a… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

BRC warns that UK shoppers will suffer if there is no comprehensive EU trade deal

The British Retail Consortium has warned that shoppers will face higher costs and reduced availability of goods if the UK and EU fail to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal.

In its new report “A Fair Deal for Consumers: EU Trade Roadmap”, the organisation calls for pragmatic solutions on future compliance and regulatory checks that will come into force from January 2021.

The BRC has highlighted the fact that almost 80% of all the food that UK retailers import comes from the EU with most entering via Dover and Folkstone.

The organisation said measures to reduce the impact of Brexit on consumers and retailers could include a zero tariff  trade deal, cooperation with the EU to minimise trade friction, coordination on VAT, customs and excise procedures, advance information on new checks and paperwork and the timely construction of necessary infrastructure at UK ports

The BRC has warned that without any pragmatic solutions and agreements, companies may be required to produce VAT and excise documents, freight documents, health and veterinary paperwork, export health certificates, exit and entry summary declarations, and safety and security permits.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “The issue is simple – higher tariffs and extensive checks will harm consumers, retailers, and the UK economy. The Government must set about to negotiate a zero tariff agreement that minimises checks and red tape otherwise it will be consumers who suffer as a result.

“The introduction of excessive or avoidable checks would mean businesses face a mountain of paperwork to be filled out by an army of newly trained staff, coupled with exhaustive checks on thousands of lorries every day. And the result for consumers would be higher costs and reduced availability on the shelves.”

“Meanwhile, new IT systems will need to be created and tested before the 1 January 2021. Border Control Posts must be built, with people hired and trained to run. Unless these are ready and tested. The Government has no time to lose.”

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