Brexit explained: we need to talk about tariffs

You might think Brexit is boring and confusing but crucial decisions are being made that could change the economy and cost you money. (Click to subscribe:

If you want to understand how the UK economy is going to work after we leave the EU then you should know about tariffs.

These are just taxes on imports from foreign countries which can have a huge impact on trade and most importantly, how much things cost you. For a long time the UK hasn’t really had to worry about them because of our membership to the EU.

But after Brexit trade will become a regular story as countries and business turn to government to make post-Brexit deals.

With Brexit that could all change so in this explainer we talk about how tariffs work and what they might mean for your bank balance in future.


Keep coming back for the Brexit latest, and all other Brexit news from the negotiations to the chances of ‘no deal’ Brexit – we’ll cover it all.

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33 thoughts on “Brexit explained: we need to talk about tariffs

  1. There is a common question that brexitards like to ask remaniacs in talk shows. Do you think all trade will end in case of no deal. This seems like a good place to answer it. No it won't. Pound will immediately get devalued to cover the average tax effect. Since tax rates are generally different for different goods, some industries might still find it harder to compete. All will however have increased pain if they need to import some of the components or raw materials, since with the devalued pound it would impact the production costs significantly. Will all trade end? No, but some businesses will need to close because they would not be able to make profits any more. This is where unpaid internships come in…

  2. The phrase “The EU is Britain’s biggest trading partner” is VERY misleading as most of the trade is the UK purchasing EU output. The UK is an important trading partner within the EU…… but the power is with the spender, not the seller.

  3. But the UK has Nuclear missiles the only country in the EU that has them is France as an American I don't understand why German is in charge when the UK and France can level Berlin

  4. From October 29th 2018, myself and my team will be the ones to manage Britains tariffs, our dealings with the WTO and protecting British business interests and i can tell you now that while the first 4:50 is fine, the rest of the video is incredibly inaccurate. The "whole other world of pain" might exist for a country like Namibia, but not the UK.
    The bias of this video is:
    It assumes a no deal scenario, which is fine but then the title should say "No Deal Brexit explained…".
    It completely disregards the existence of 83% of the worlds economies (countries outside the EU, with whom we already have tariffs and do more and ever increasing trade with).

  5. Very bias report, Eu is our biggest trading block… Right because we are in the EU with no tariffs and we don't sell much products which is why the industry is loosing jobs and we're not manufacturing British goods much anymore… We sell the EU countries more in SERVICES… If we open our trading with more countries world wide and slap on free trade with them we'd sell more to the others because the EU is 27 countries out of the whole fucking world! Why can't the Bias Media and remoaners see that. All they say is I'm a bot or a racist.

  6. If I was a British citizen I would be worried about Brexit because even though the politicians are selling the "Trade" issue as having more flexibility for you to strike deals with the USA for example, I wouldn't trust Mr. Trump. He can change his mind on a dime and two what if other countries are selling the same thing or similar for a lower price? You'll be screwed either way. Then, as I understand it, the US is trying to strike a trade deal with the EU. Which would be more beneficial to the US, the over 500 m people in the EU or the 68 m in the UK? And, that is just one country. Then you have to try to strike a deal with China and a bunch of other countries separately. It seems to me like it can turn into a mess not to mention very time consuming. Trade deals are not approved overnight, some times they take years of negotiation. That will probably mean pain in your pockets.

  7. Bit of a language thing, maybe, but could you stop referring to the EU's unified customs regulations as "being in a customs union with the EU'?. You're not, you're currently in the EU. As of March 30th next year you may or may not be in a customs union with the EU, depending on whether your politicians want to start seeing the reality of the situation or not.

    For crying out loud, people, why didn't you eat the crow when it was young and tender and just admitted the referendum was a bad idea right off the bat?

  8. My understanding is WTO rules is the default position of trade. But you can sign independent trade deals individually with any country, so can tailor it to suit both sides. Done right, everybody is happy. End of the day, just like politics you can’t please everybody and there will be winners, and losers.

  9. UK not only loses frictionless trade with the EU, but also free trade agreements and trade agreements with almost all important countries. e.g. EU has free trade agreements with Canada and Japan and dozens of trade agreements with the US. And the EU is already negotiating with many others. All will be gone for the UK. And what will little England gain? Nothing! You are screwed.

  10. Without tarrifs in EUropa, all businesses need not pay any tarrif if operating in Europe. So lower costs for businesses and cheaper goods for consumer, so they can by more stuff. Additionally it inreases the productivity, becaus ee.g. in case of agriculture, regions are compatible where production costs are the lowest. Ths in true in general, but the agriculture example can be easily explained. So business in Europe overall are more productive, ebcause unproductive businesses relocate and production is concentrated in highly efficient clusters. This are several resons why economy profits through lower or no tarrifs.

  11. Those who voted for Brexit did so thinking the U.k could do things it could not do within the E.U. Now it seems the opposite is true. Brexiteers thinking they understand what the 27 other members do not sounds somewhat.. arrogant ?.

  12. I just love it when Brexiteers are going on about 'we don't need all that. We were Great before, we can do it again!'
    Just for the record: what part of the world are you going to exploit this time?
    America is off limits now. You could get a shot at Africa, but the Chinese are doing big business there already and won't be too happy about that.
    Perhaps you could recolonize India?

  13. I was in Poland recently. I don't see any British brands in the shops there. But I did find one. McVities digestives. And it costs about 4 times more in Poland than in the UK. So much for tariff free borders in the EU. Looks like Poland has their own tariffs that no one knows about.

  14. Tariffs are just another way of the corrupt European politicians living lie kings and queens on taxpayers money.and hard working family.are struggling to feed their family's.pure corruption at he highest level.

  15. In a globalized world its all about relative competitiveness. The British economy excels on services (insurance, financial etc) and its a completely different ball game to Tariffs on physical goods. The EU will never allow freedom of capital without freedom of labor. Having the city's competitive advantage eroded may not cost votes but it will hurt the treasury badly in the long run.
    Just in time manufacturing will be wiped by having tariffs and I just hope the hard working employees of impacted companies can retrain and find stable work elsewhere.
    There is no way EU negotiators will allow the UK to pick and choose things which are only beneficial to the UK. This is either going to end in tears or the UK will have to accept rules that made brexit pointless any way.

  16. Aren't we already paying 25% more for everything this year alone? We are already being punished by the EU through the cost of everything. A woukd be better off producing the goods here, I know the people could do with better and more reliable future where we support British businesses.

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