Responding to today's Economists for Free Trade report, William Bain, Policy Adviser – Europe and International, BRC said:
"Today's Economists for Free Trade report is yet further demonstration of the reality of a No Deal Brexit for retailers and consumers.
"Unless the UK lowers or eliminates tariffs the World Trade Organisation’s most favoured nation tariffs would apply to goods being imported into the UK. On average, this would see increases of 12% for clothing, 39.6% on beef from Ireland, 21% on tomatoes from the Netherlands and 45% on mozzarella cheese from Italy. In addition to these considerable increases, lowering or eliminating UK tariffs would create more border control requirements as well as increasing the red tape with duty refund issues.
"Unilaterally reducing tariffs on all goods to zero would have a serious impact on jobs and investment in other parts of the UK supply and sourcing chains, involving customs declarations, customs duties from the EU, and other red tape.
"Retailers need certainty in order to plan for Brexit and whilst countries may be encouraged to facilitate easier trade with other countries, there is no obligation to secure the specifics of check free or friction-free trade with trading partners."