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Sri Lanka supply threatened by EU

The British Retail Consortium has warned that if Sri Lanka loses its tax-free import rights to EU markets the country could become too expensive for UK retailers to manufacture in.

If complaints are upheld by an EU investigation into human rights abuses during the country’s recent civil war, the withdrawal of tax-free arrangements could hit retailers including Marks & Spencer and Next.

BRC Brussels director Alisdair Gray said: “Sri Lanka has many very good textile factories, but profit margins are small and if they lose their current import arrangements, there are manufacturers in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand ready to compete hard.”

M&S said that Sri Lanka was one of more than 70 countries it sourced from internationally.

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