Debenhams closes online business in Ireland as 50 major UK retailers face EU tariffs

Press quote (ITV News)
07 January 2021

"Clearly goods imported from Asia and re-distributed to the EU are not from the UK - they are from China or Bangladesh or wherever.

Goods will be now be subject to a tariff when entering the UK and then again when entering the EU," explains Sam Lowe from the Centre for European Reform.

The new tariff rules won’t affect shop prices in the UK but it will become more costly for UK retailers to provide goods to EU-based consumers and prices may rise accordingly.

Alternatively, retailers could decide to scale down their UK distribution network and scale up their operations in the EU. This is likely to have implications for jobs.

"I’m surprised that retailers are surprised by this," Lowe says.

"This was not a deal dependent issue, there was never going to be a solution to this. Rules of Origin were always unlikely to accommodate the re-export of goods from China".