LONDON, 2017-Jun-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has appointed William Bain to accelerate its research and further strengthen its voice on Brexit.
Bain’s previous experience includes five and a half years as a Member of Parliament, during which he served as Shadow Food and Farming Minister, and was a member of the BIS Select Committee working on inquiries which focused on trade issues. Since leaving Westminster, he has worked as a consultant to companies on the implications of Brexit. He is reporting to Andrew Opie, the Director of Food Policy at the BRC.
Bain will work on the BRC’s Fair Brexit For Consumers campaign, which is aimed at supporting the Government in ensuring a fair deal for consumers in negotiations with the EU.
The BRC’s recently published research advocated a “smart Brexit”. Its Tariff Roadmapmade the case for an orderly and sequenced process that prioritises across the board tariff-free arrangements with the EU before securing new trading relationships with the rest of the world. The research found that:
- Retailers directly import approximately £5 billion of food products and indirectly import approximately £15 billion through wholesalers or manufacturers;
- The weighted average tariff, if the UK were to default to WTO tariffs on UK food imports from the EU, would be 22 per cent;
- New partners in the rest of the world present a big opportunity as nearly half the UK’s non-food imports come from countries where there is no pre-existing EU trade arrangements. If new deals were negotiated with these countries, UK retailers could see reductions in tariffs on clothes of 12 per cent and leather handbags at three per cent, for example.
Commenting on the announcement, Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium said:
“The retail industry’s biggest priority is to work alongside the Government to secure a fair Brexit for consumers. This means ensuring that ordinary shoppers aren’t hit with the cost of unwanted new tariffs and the UK is able to build new trading relationships with the rest of the world in the long-term. William’s experience and skills will further strengthen the BRC’s voice on crucial trade and regulation issues during a pivotal period of time.”
William Bain said:
“The retail industry is at the epicentre of the changes ahead arising from the UK’s transition to a new relationship with the European Union involving some of our biggest markets and industry supply chains. I’m thrilled to be part of the BRC’s pioneering work as the voice of the industry at such an important time for UK businesses and consumers.”
Notes to Editors
- View BRC’s ‘Tariff Road Map For The Next Government here. It includes a digestible ‘road map’ highlighting the need for an orderly and sequenced process that will ensure risks are mitigated and opportunities are seized, a breakdown of food imports and non-food imports by retailers and a map that illustrates the UK’s trade relationships, tariffs and the potential threats and opportunities around different products.
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