Brexit deal betrayal as Johnson's non-tariff barriers claims torn apart by trade experts

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Britain and the EU have reached a post-Brexit trade deal after months of sometimes bitter negotiations. On Thursday afternoon, a statement from Downing Street announced “the deal is done” – swiftly followed by a confirmation from Brussels. Speaking shortly after the announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the agreement was a “good deal” for the “whole of Europe” – one that signified “a new stability and a new certainty in what has sometimes been a fractious and difficult relationship”.

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He added: “We’ve taken back control of our laws and our destiny. From January 1, we are outside the customs union and outside the single market. British laws will be made solely by the British Parliament, interpreted by the UK judges sitting in UK courts and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will come to an end.”

Mr Johnson also said the agreement offers certainty for businesses across the whole country and will benefit the whole of Britain because there will be no palisade of tariffs on January 1 and there will be no non-tariff barriers to trade.

However, this claim seems to be at odds with what trade experts around the globe say.

In promising that there were “no non-tariff barriers” to selling goods after Brexit, he reportedly ignored the tens of millions of customs declarations, health assessments and other checks that businesses will now be responsible for.

Brexit deal betrayal as Boris Johnson’s non-tariff barriers claims torn apart by trade experts (Image: GETTY)

Brexit endgame timeline (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

A non-tariff barrier is any measure, other than a customs tariff, that acts as a barrier to international trade.

These include regulations, which are any rules which dictate how a product can be manufactured, handled, or advertised, and rules of origin, which are rules that require proof of which country goods were produced in.

Alex Altmann, a partner in charge of Brexit-related issues at Blick Rothenberg, an accounting and tax practice, told the New York Times: “It’s a massive problem that is going to cost industry millions of pounds and euros.

“At the end of the day, that’s going to be passed on to consumers.”

Economics Editor for the Independent Ben Chu wrote on Twitter: “When Boris Johnson said – wrongly – there will be no non-tariff barriers to trade with the EU it wasn’t a slip of the tongue or an extempore blurt.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: PA)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)

“The line was explicitly written in his address.

“To be clear, non-tariff barriers are things like paperwork for exporters, checks on imported products, licensing requirements for professionals, and differences in regulations that firms must comply with…

“The single market eliminated many of these non-tariff barriers facing UK firms.

“The UK is leaving the single market so they will return.”

Mr Chu quoted the European Commission as saying on the issue: “The EU and the UK will form two separate markets; two distinct regulatory and legal spaces.

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A non-tariff barrier is any measure that acts as a barrier to international trade (Image: GETTY)

UK trade deals (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

“This will create barriers to trade in goods and services and to cross-border mobility and exchanges that do not exist today – in both directions.”

Lyne Biewinga, executive director membership at the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce, also wrote on Twitter: “Let’s be absolutely clear.

“While this Brexit deal with zero-tariff is welcome, it does not remove many non-tariff barriers and frictions.

“There will be border formalities. UK-EU trade is facing significant, new non-tariff barriers to trade from January 1.”