WTO tariffs not automatic fallback for no-deal UK

WTO tariffs not automatic fallback for no-deal UK

Throughout the Brexit debate it has been widely accepted that if the UK cannot agree a final deal with the EU by the 2019 deadline, it will have to revert to World Trade Organisation tariffs. However, that is not the automatic process that many – including ourselves – have assumed, according to UCD economist Colm McCarthy. Speaking at the‘Sustainable Irish Food Production in 2025’ veterinary conference, he said :

“Reverting to World Trade Organisation rules on March 30, 2019, makes no sense at all. In any event, these regulations will not kick-in automatically. Separate negotiations would have to take place between the UK and the World Trade Organisation, in order to make this a reality.”

McCarthy also made the case that the Republic has a greater interest in ensuring good trading terms with Britain than with the north.

“This objective simply reflects the volume of business which the Republic of Ireland does with both regions.There is an 11-fold difference in trade terms, in favour of Britain. So it makes sense for exporters in the Republic of Ireland to have preferential access to markets in England, Scotland and Wales.”