Ireland says extension of 21 months would allow 'rethink' of Brexit

A piggy bank with a Euro note

The news comes after Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected for a second time last night despite making a "breakthrough" on the Irish backstop.

Ministers said today that products from the European Union including beef, pork, chicken, butter, cheese and fish would also be subject to import taxes expected to push up prices in the supermarkets from March 29 if there is no deal.

But tariffs would be imposed on some imports from the EU.

Zero tariffs would be applied to items such as footwear, aluminium and steel, machinery, paper and wood products, and weapons and ammunition.

A no deal Brexit could add thousands on to the cost of buying a new auto, warns experts.

No new tariffs or checks on goods will be introduced on trade across the land border into Northern Ireland, in order to avoid a hard border, it has also been announced.

The plan for avoiding a hard border is to allow for the unhindered, tariff-free flow of goods from the Republic into Northern Ireland on a temporary basis.

Ministers will seek to maintain existing protections for the lamb industry, by applying the full tariff rate to sheepmeat products entering the UK.

Instead, normal compliance and intelligence methods will be used to detect any traders attempting to abuse the system.

This table summarises applied UK tariffs in key sectors in a No Deal scenario
No tariffs for Irish goods entering NI in no-deal Brexit

He argued that businesses may not comply with new legal obligations in a no-deal scenario "leading to the likelihood of a step change in the scale and significance of smuggling and organised crime".

However, it is not clear to what extent RoI companies will be able to continue trading for free with Great Britain just so long as they route their goods through NI ports.

Under the new regime for Northern Ireland, goods arriving from the Republic will still be subject to the same Value-Added Tax and excise duty as at present.

However, Simon Coveney, Ireland's foreign minister, voiced concern about the fact any tariffs at all are to be introduced on Irish agriculture by the United Kingdom government.

McEntee said she agreed with the head of the Irish Farmers' Association that the tariffs flagged on beef and dairy products would be "absolutely disastrous" for Ireland's agriculture sector.

Cutting import tariffs on imported goods would ease the hit to British consumers from an expected jump in inflation in the event of a no-deal Brexit which would probably cause sterling to tumble and make imports more expensive.

In the case of no-deal, the UK Government is committed to entering discussions urgently with Brussels and Dublin to agree long-term arrangements.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley said they would be "temporary" and recognise "the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland". These arrangements can only be temporary and short term'.

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