EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has said the UK’s no-deal tariff plans – proposals that would see no import duties levied on goods entering Northern Ireland across the border – likely breach World Trade Organisation rules. Mr Hogan, who is commissioner for agriculture and rural development, claimed the plans unveiled by Whitehall this week were “political” and designed to “change in the news cycle from the political chaos on London”. “I think they are incompatible with WTO rules,” he said of the plans, after arriving at an agriculture conference in Dublin. Mr Hogan added: “I think the timing of it was unfortunate and it was a deliberate attempt to put Ireland more on the agenda, as if it wasn’t on the agenda already.” Mr Hogan said there were “no more excuses” for Westminster not to ratify the deal. He noted that “intensive discussions” were taking place with the UK Government and the DUP and … [Read more...] about Phil Hogan: UK’s no-deal tariff plans likely breach World Trade Organisation rules
World trade organisation
There is no more popular piece of jargon in the Brexit debate than “World Trade Organisation rules”. Some cite them with approval, as a desirable destination for the UK upon leaving the European Union. Others portray them as a disastrous outcome that we should avoid at all cost. But what’s the truth about the WTO and its framework? And what precisely does it entail for the UK? What is the World Trade Organisation? It is a multilateral organisation with 164 members – almost every state in the world and certainly all the major economies. Its central purpose is to permit goods to flow across borders with relative ease. The key element of its agreements is that every member shall treat every other member equally in terms of tariff charges, meaning there shall be no arbitrary discrimination. So if country X, say, offers a lower tariff on a certain imported product to country Y it also has to automatically offer that lower tariff to every other country too. This is … [Read more...] about What are World Trade Organisation rules and what exactly do they mean?
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has admitted once the UK government changes its customs rules and regulations, this island will "get into real difficulties". The Irish Government continues to insist it has not carried out any planning for physical infrastructure at the Border. But there are mounting fears that while some initial leeway may be offered in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the EU and World Trade Organisation would ultimately demand checks on animals and food moving between the North and the Republic. Nobody in the Government has been able to explain how checks could take place without a physical border. The European Commission has clearly stated that in the event of a disorderly Brexit "every consignment of live animals and animal products coming from the UK would have to undergo checks in border inspection posts at the point of entry to the EU". Ireland will be expected to protect the single market at what will be the only new EU land frontier after Brexit. Ireland's … [Read more...] about Hard Border will be enforced once UK moves to make its own trade deals
BRITAIN’S politicians may be making a mess of Brexit. But it is Britain’s businesses that will get us out of it. Whatever happens in our negotiations with the EU, this country will depend for its prosperity after Brexit — as it always has — on millions of businesses, up and down the land selling, exporting and innovating. It is these firms that have made us a great trading nation, and the fifth largest economy in the world. But there is a problem. The “voice of business” heard in Whitehall is not the voice of business. It tends to be the voice of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which is dominated by the comfortable incumbents and large multi-nationals. Family firms — those owned and run by one person, or by members of the same family — make up the overwhelming majority of Britain’s businesses. These 4.8million firms employ 12.2million people, or almost 40 per cent of workers — and pay enough tax to fund the entire … [Read more...] about Britain’s prosperity after Brexit depends on small family businesses as they made Britain the fifth largest economy in the world
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s landmark speech on Tuesday (28 December) did not contain any new announcements to de-escalate the country’s ongoing trade war with the US, worrying Europeans about the consequences on global commerce. “No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done,” Xi said in a speech to mark the 40th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s “reform and opening up” policy. The absence of new pacifying gestures towards US President Donald Trump has raised concerns among some policymakers and China experts in Europe. “Xi did not announce any measures to defuse the looming trade-conflict with the US,” said the head of the European Parliament’s delegation to China, Jo Leinen. “Unfortunately, the Trump administration seems to be willing to let the situation escalate into a trade war,” he told EURACTIV.com. “The lack of a specific announcement of either reforms … [Read more...] about China’s Xi fails to reassure Europeans on trade dispute with US