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BRC calls for tariff-free trade following Brexit divorce deal

The British Retail Consortium has urged Brexit negotiators to maintain tariff-free trade between the UK and the rest of the EU following a breakthrough report published on 8 December.

The joint report from EU and UK Brexit negotiators guaranteed there will be no “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic, that EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa will have their rights to live, work and study protected, and that the divorce bill is estimated to come to between £35bn and £39bn.

EU leaders are due to meet on 15 December for a European Council summit and must back the deal for the next phase of negotiations to begin.

In response, William Bain, policy adviser, Europe and International at the BRC said: 

“Once endorsed by the European Council we would hope talks can move quickly on to the principles and terms around the transitional arrangements to ensure businesses have the certainty to plan and invest and that consumers don’t face higher costs or delays from tariffs or onerous customs barriers.”

He added: “UK consumers should continue to benefit from lasting tariff-free trade and as free a flow of goods to and from UK and the rest of Europe markets as possible.” 

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