Tuesday 5 February 2019 / 11:02 AM Barry Gardiner / Brexit

Fox’s damaging plans for zero tariffs – Gardiner responds

Barry Gardiner MP, Labour’s Shadow Trade Secretary, responding to reports that in the event of “no deal”, Liam Fox plans to cut all import tariffs to zero, said:

“What is proposed is extraordinarily damaging. Reducing all tariffs on imports to zero would undermine our domestic producers in their home markets, and risk serious job losses in key industries from ceramics to farming.

“That is bad enough. But the Secretary of State appears not to understand the basic logic of trade negotiations: your side wants the other to liberalise their markets and reduce tariffs on the goods you export to them. If you have already reduced all your tariffs to zero you have nothing to negotiate with!

“What Liam Fox is proposing will drive job losses and undermine the UK’s bargaining power in any trade negotiations including with the EU. He is not just shooting himself in the foot, he is shooting himself in both feet.”