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Mirrors and shears prices set to fall in Brexit tariff plan

A shipment of vehicles prepares to leave for the UK

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Baking powder, garden shears and mirrors are among the items set to get cheaper from 1 January under new tariff plans announced by the government.

The Department for International Trade said the new UK Global Tariff is a simpler, more liberal scheme which “backs consumers and business”.

Following its departure from the European Union, the UK has the ability to set its own rules and charges.

The scheme includes the abolition of tariffs on imports worth over £30bn.

Items on the list include pistachios, on which the tariff is so low it is more costly to collect than it is worth.

Also covered will be goods which are not produced in the UK, items used in British manufacturers supply chains, such as screws, and those linked to energy efficiency, including thermostats.

Other items will have tariffs simplified, and expressed in pounds instead of Euros.

International trade secretary Liz Truss said: “Our new Global Tariff will benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products”

But with the price of affected items typically set to fall by less than 5%, economists say the impact on the cost of living will be small.

And some tariffs will be maintained on imported items such as beef and cars, to protect British producers, following extensive consultation.

This could add thousands of pounds to the cost of a car imported from Europe and push up food prices if a trade deal is not struck with Brussels in time for January, something the The Food and Drink Federation warns that could cause “serious damage”.

It could make it harder for European producers to sell in to the UK.

So some analysts have interpreted the timing of Tuesday’s announcement as a reminder to the EU of what is at stake if progress isn’t made in the ongoing trade talks.

It is also being perceived as the UK signalling it is making the most of its new freedom with other trading partners.

In total, 60% of UK imports will be tariff free in January under this scheme and the preferential trade deals that exist with some countries.

But this is only one step in the UK’s trade policy – and a relatively easy one.

It aims to have 80% of trade covered by free trade deals in three years which will necessitate reaching agreements with the EU and US.

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