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UK and EU formally inform WTO of post-Brexit tariff quota plan

London and Brussels press ahead with a proposal already rejected by US and other World Trade Organisation members according to a report in The Guardian on-line.

In a joint letter, the two parties said they had come to an agreement on a key aspect of trading relationships with the rest of the world after Brexit.

Under WTO rules, country-specific quotas permit low-tariff imports, such as butter and meat, up to a certain volume, after which higher tariffs can be applied. The joint plan suggests the EU’s existing agricultural quota commitments will be “apportioned” based on historical trade flows, and the current ceilings on support for farmers will be maintained.

After the letter was leaked this month, the UK was told that the arrangement is unacceptable to the US and other WTO members who wish to force the UK to open its market further to their farm products.

It will all come out in the wash but it's anyone's guess at this point what the outcome of this thorny problem will be.

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