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21 June 2019

The Guardian: Brexit: Carney rejects Boris Johnson's no-deal trade claim

The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has said that the UK would be hit automatically by tariffs on exports to the EU in a no-deal Brexit, rejecting a claim made by Boris Johnson that this could be avoided.

Tory leadership candidate Johnson said this week that tariffs would not necessarily have to be paid if the UK left the EU without a deal because the UK could rely on article 24 of the general agreement on tariffs and trade (Gatt).

Some Brexit supporters have claimed that the Gatt, a treaty under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO), would allow a “standstill” in which tariffs are avoided, even in the absence of any agreement on trade.

Many trade experts say this is not the case without agreement from both sides. Carney cited the head of the WTO and Liam Fox, the minister for international trade who backed the Vote Leave campaign in 2016, to contradict Johnson.

Talking to the BBC, Carney said: “Gatt 24 applies if you have an agreement, not if you’ve decided not to have an agreement or have been unable to come to an agreement.

“Not having an agreement with the EU means that there are tariffs automatically because the Europeans have to apply the same rules to us as they apply to everyone else. If they were to decide not to put in place tariffs they also have to lower their tariffs with the United States, with the rest of the world. And the same would hold for us.” [...]

Full article on The Guardian

Related article on EurActiv: UK’s Johnson admits needing EU support in event of no-deal Brexit

© The Guardian

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