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No Deal and Product Standards and no tariffs...

(19 Posts)
lljkk Sat 11-Aug-18 10:47:50

I hope someone understands this, or feels the know some answers.

Some Brexiters said No Deal is fine, we can have 'no tariffs' which everyone who doesn't manufacture anything in UK will benefit from, via lower prices.

But what about product standards, like rules about which pesticides food can be exposed to, or electrical safety or no lead in paint, etc. CE safety marks.

Does no tariffs = no product standards apply any more? Else, maybe non-EU goods won't undermine British manufacturers, right, if non-EU can't meet the legal standards for a budget price after all?

Will all the same mechanisms exist post Brexit that exist now for verifying that things are safe & legal sell here? How quickly or easily can UK develop infrastructure to deal with many more goods coming in from outside EU, so need to be checked if they meet our product standards? Is that verification process easy to ramp up quickly?

SoloD Sat 11-Aug-18 11:45:31

Currently, when we leave in March we will maintain the same rulebook with regards to product standards.

Ideally, the EU will recognise this but they are under no obligation to and if we have left and are not paying the money we owe the EU then it is likely they will use this to close off the EU markets from us.

If we lower our standards the more scrutiny products coming from the UK will have when they go to the EU. The UK already has an appalling reputation in this regard, www.politico.eu/article/uk-faces-e2-billion-eu-payment-for-china-fraud-trade/

If we allow in hormone grown beef etc, which are banned in the EU, it will be impossible not to have a hard border in Ireland.

It is very messy.

lljkk Sat 11-Aug-18 11:47:52

So will No Deal mean that all imported products still have to meet current UK standards, how will we ensure that if huge number of goods come from outside EU?

YeTalkShiteHen Sat 11-Aug-18 11:50:16

We can’t is the short answer.

It’s an absolute shitshow, even the people supposedly in charge haven’t the faintest idea what’s happening.

SoloD Sat 11-Aug-18 12:02:25

Currently, the UK has a very lax regime.

When I import goods from Turkey (which is in the Customs Union). I simply need the invoice and a form which shows where they were from. When I export to the US, I need a lot more paperwork including the safety certification etc.

Once we leave we will be outside the customs union and the EU will demand much more paperwork. This tweet by Deborah Meaden gives you an idea about the state of play.

I am not exaggerating or playing project fear but this is going to be a huge jobs killer. And this is just goods. Services which accounts for the bulk of our exports are entirley excluded.

lljkk Sat 11-Aug-18 12:23:43

I just wondered b/c it's supposed to be a benefit of NoDeal = no tariffs = super cheap food
(ignore whether that wipes out British farmers & food producers or whether containers will be piled high at our ports due to extra paperwork due to their diverse origins from places we have no trade deal with or what happens on Norn border)

Can we get super cheap food that meets our product standards, or will we need to remove our product standards to get the super cheap food?

Ditto for fabrics or plastic toys or electronics...

SoloD Sat 11-Aug-18 12:52:25

The reason it is "super cheap" is that the costs of production are super low".

This can mean things like efficiency. Like the huge farms you get in Australia. Or it can mean the use of growth hormones, antibiotics and too fast processing etc. None of these things I would choose to eat.

Given there is a huge financial incentive to mislabel foods (i.e. horse meat, Chicken King scandal, etc) this sort of food will enter food chains and you will eat it at some point.

Buteo Sat 11-Aug-18 15:33:18

And if the UK doesn’t impose any tariffs, where would be the incentive for any country to sign trade deals?

lljkk Sat 11-Aug-18 17:35:34

good point, Buteo, I keep forgetting that!!

lljkk Sat 11-Aug-18 17:40:31

Singapore has very low import tariffs yet it also has loads of bilateral deals where its goods get no tariffs exported into specific countries. What has Singapore given in return; zero tariff reciprocity? This talks about stamp duty for foreign property buyers.

lljkk Wed 22-Aug-18 08:30:39

Sorry! I finally realised what was puzzling me, so bear with me.

WTO rules mean "can't discriminate between third party countries". So if Uk allows no tariffs without a trade deal from third-country-X, they have to allow no tariffs from all third countries. That's understandable.

What about customs checks... if UK says "We'll do no customs checks from EU b/c we know they meet our product standards" in situation without a trade deal, does that mean UK must stop customs checks for same types of goods, from other 3rd party countries? Eg., Can they discriminate against wheat product cargo by imposing more paperwork and customs checks from USA if they don't discriminate in same way against wheat cargo from EU?

Anyone know?

Clairetree1 Wed 22-Aug-18 08:34:58

hopefully some of this will become clear when the technical notices are published tomorrow.

Buteo Wed 22-Aug-18 12:33:52

Under the MFN rules, if you allow say wheat from Ireland to cross the border into NI without any checks then you would have to allow wheat from Canada without any checks as well - without an FTA in place you can’t discriminate. If you do discriminate then those countries can open a dispute.

Peter Ungphakorn has a good explanation here:

tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/does-the-wto-require-countries-to-control-their-borders/

Ta1kinpeace Wed 22-Aug-18 13:29:47

lljkk
Can they discriminate against wheat product cargo by imposing more paperwork and customs checks from USA if they don't discriminate in same way against wheat cargo from EU?
YES
Man on TV news from the Thames Gateway container port ....

1/25 of all containers are checked routinely
1/4 containers of food products are checked routinely
ALL containers of chicken from Thailand and Brazil are checked because of past problems

IF customs have the resourses they can still "risk assess" customs checks
(assuming of course they have a clearance yard which the Channel Ports do not have ....)

Buteo Wed 22-Aug-18 15:59:49

The discriminatory meat checks could be allowable only under the grounds of protecting human health - under theapication of the WTO sanitary and phytosanitary agreements. The reasons for extra checks still have to be justifiable though - see here:

www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/15sps_01_e.htm

Buteo Wed 22-Aug-18 16:00:56

^^ the application not theapication confused

prettybird Wed 22-Aug-18 17:03:14

Not sure the US would accept checks to block chlorinated chicken or hormone filled beef was "justifiable" hmm And heaven forfend that the UK then label the meat and poultry with those descriptors to allow the purchasers to make informed choices shock

lljkk Wed 22-Aug-18 20:26:51

Thank you... super useful!

bikingintherain Fri 24-Aug-18 20:40:10

This is really interesting on the tariffs.. make sure you listen to the end.

https://m.soundcloud.com/bbcradiokent/nodealbrexit-heated-debate

(I did post this on another thread too - truly shocked and angry.)

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