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No-deal Brexit tariffs are revealed: Car prices would rocket by up to £1,500



'No Deal is nothing to be scared of': Brexiteers insist new tariff regime if Britain crashes out the EU will be GOOD for the UK - but business chiefs insist it will be 'sledgehammer to the economy'

  • No Deal economic plans revealed at 7am today set out how Government will manage trade and Irish border 
  • Products from the EU including beef, pork, chicken, butter, cheese and fish would be subject to tariffs
  • Northern Ireland's border would remain open and goods entering from the Republic would not face tariffs  
  • The Commons will vote on a no-deal exit tonight and could also vote tomorrow on an Article 50 extension 
  • Theresa May's withdrawal agreement was defeated by 391 to 242 despite claims of 'legally binding changes'  
  • Fatal blow came after Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said his legal advice was unchanged over backstop   

By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 03:09 EDT, 13 March 2019 | Updated: 08:17 EDT, 13 March 2019

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Theresa May leaves Downing Street today as her ministers revealed the new tariffs Britain would charge to import products from the EU

Brexiteers today insisted that a No Deal Brexit would be 'good news' for Britain despite ministers revealing alarming new tariffs that would be charged on products imported from the EU.

MPs will tonight vote on whether to stop Britain crashing out the EU on March 29, and this morning ministers unveiled the new tariff regime that will apply if that happens.

It calls for new import taxes to be imposed on items from the continent including cars, meat and cheese - but at the same time lifts tariffs from on other goods from across the world meaning 87% of imports to the UK would not be taxed.

However in a seemingly confusing loophole in No Deal plan, Northern Ireland's border would remain open at least 'temporarily' and goods entering from the Republic would not face tariffs to preserve the Good Friday agreement.

Members of the Tory ERG group led by Jacob Rees-Mogg were quick to seize on the lowering of some tariffs - up to 87% of goods from the current 80% - saying it would help promote global trade with Britain.

Under current EU single market rules, goods from Europe are not subject to import tax while tariffs on goods from outside the EU are set by Brussels.

Tory Brexiteer and ERG chairman Steve Baker said today: 'No Deal is nothing to be scared of – it's just Brexit with many mini-deals' while ERG spokesman Sir Bill Cash, who is also Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, said these tariffs will help the British public 'enormously' making 'imports much cheaper' from non-EU countries.

After the decisive defeat of Theresa May's Brexit deal last night, she has given MPs a free vote at 7pm tonight on whether they want to leave the EU without a deal. She has indicated that she will vote against leaving without a deal.     

Critics have said that a No Deal would be a 'disaster' for Britain who would be 'blocked' from trading with its closest trading partner - the EU.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said today: 'This tells us everything that is wrong with a no-deal. What we are hearing is the biggest change in terms of trade this country has faced since the mid-19th century being imposed on this country with no consultation with business, no time to prepare. This is a sledgehammer for our economy.' 

Today the European Commission said it was unhappy about the proposed the 'differential treatment' of trade on the island of Ireland.

Labour's opposition - and the deal's rejection by 75 Brexiteer Tory rebels alongside the DUP - sunk Mrs May's motion last night with Boris Johnson saying Mrs May should put her deal to bed
Labour's opposition - and the deal's rejection by 75 Brexiteer Tory rebels alongside the DUP - sunk Mrs May's motion last night with Boris Johnson saying Mrs May should put her deal to bed

Labour's opposition - and the deal's rejection by 75 Brexiteer Tory rebels alongside the DUP - sunk Mrs May's motion last night with Boris Johnson saying Mrs May should put her deal to bed

The new tariff regime would be applied temporarily in an attempt to minimise disruption to the economy and stop price hikes. 

The 'sledgehammer' tariffs threatened on EU products if there is a No Deal Brexit

Food 

Proposed tariff rates on a range of food products were announced as a proportion of the so-called 'most favoured nation' (MFN) currently imposed by the EU on imports from countries which do not have a free trade agreement. 

Lamb/mutton: 100% of MFN

Beef 53% of MFN 

Poultry 60% of MFN

Pork 13% of MFN

Butter 32% of MFN

Cheddar-like cheese 13% of MFN

Protected fish and seafood products 100% of MFN  

Milled and semi-milled products (83%). 

INDUSTRIAL 

Finished buses: 12.6%

Finished cars and trucks: 10.6%

Transport equipment: 2.9%

Fertilisers: 2.1%

Ceramics: 1.2%

Textiles and textile products: 0.9%

Stone and cement: 0.3%

Leather and hides: 0.2%

Mineral products: 0.2%

Glass: 0.2%

Chemical products: 0.1%

Plastics and rubber: 0.1%

But ministers said products from the EU including beef, pork, chicken, butter, cheese and fish would also be subject to import taxes expected to push up prices in the supermarkets from March 29 if there is no agreement.  

Cars from the EU would be subject to a a 10.6 per tax on the cost of all 'fully finished' vehicles - making the prices of an average vehicle surge by £1,500. 

After the decisive defeat of Theresa May's Brexit deal last night, she has given MPs a free vote at 7pm tonight on whether they want to leave the EU without a deal. She has indicated that she will vote against leaving without a deal.  

Among the 13 per cent of imports - most from the EU - which will be subject to tariffs, will be:

  • Beef, lamb, pork and poultry and some dairy products including butter and cheese - in order to protect UK farmers and producers from cheap imports;
  • A number of tariffs on finished new cars, vans, lorries and buses imported from the EU - but charges will not apply to vehicle parts imported from the EU to prevent disruption to supply chains; 
  • Ceramics, fertiliser and fuel, where tariffs protect UK producers against unfair practices like dumping and state subsidies; 
  • Goods including bananas, raw cane sugar and certain kinds of fish, where tariffs are used to permit preferential access to the UK market for developing countries. 

On the new tariff regime, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told Today it was a 'modest liberalisation' of trade, adding: 'This is for a short term while we engage with business and see what the real-term consequences are'. 

But British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson hit back: 'Even as the Brexit clock approaches midnight, MPs continue to squabble.

'Yet it is the public who will feel the impact of a No Deal Brexit – tariffs, non-tariff barriers and currency depreciation will all push up costs and reduce the choice on the shelves we currently enjoy.

'Businesses are exasperated by the lack of clarity over their future trading arrangements'. 

Tonight MPs will vote again tomorrow on No Deal and then on delaying Brexit on Thursday - votes set to unlock a cascade of consequences including a softer Brexit, a second referendum and not leaving the EU at all.

With just 17 days until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, hardline Eurosceptics sided with Labour to inflict a crushing 149-vote defeat on the Prime Minister.

A delay to the March 29 departure date is now almost certain. Mrs May will ask MPs to vote today on whether they want to block a No Deal Brexit, but her massive defeat also opens the door to drastic options such as a general election or second referendum.

Theresa May (pictured leaving the Commons last night) was humiliated again as MPs crushed her Brexit deal for a second time 391 to 242 - a majority of 149 and today her ministers announced the tariffs would charge on EU products if Britain crashes out with No Deal
Theresa May (pictured leaving the Commons last night) was humiliated again as MPs crushed her Brexit deal for a second time 391 to 242 - a majority of 149 and today her ministers announced the tariffs would charge on EU products if Britain crashes out with No Deal

Theresa May (pictured leaving the Commons last night) was humiliated again as MPs crushed her Brexit deal for a second time 391 to 242 - a majority of 149 and today her ministers announced the tariffs would charge on EU products if Britain crashes out with No Deal

What happens next? Now May has lost again MPs will vote on no deal amid warnings Brexit could be CANCELLED

What happened last night? 

Theresa May held the second approval vote on her Brexit deal. MPs 391 to 242 - a majority of 149 - against the deal.  

What will happen next?  

The Prime Minister promised MPs will get a vote on whether or not to accept no deal today and then a further vote on delaying Brexit on Thursday.

Tory MPs are getting a free vote on whether to support no deal tonight and it is widely expected Parliament will block No Deal.  

Could Brexit be stopped? 

May has warned this is a possibility. While she will not revoke Article 50 herself, she has warned political chaos could see the Government replaced by Jeremy Corbyn or another pro-Remain administration.

Could Brexit be delayed? 

Almost certainly, with just 17 days until it is due to happen. The EU has said it will grant a two month extension to get the current deal through but that this should not extend beyond EU Parliament elections at the end of May.

It might also extend a much longer extension to allow for a general election or second referendum - but this would be for many months or even years.  

Will the Prime Minister face a motion of no confidence? 

It is possible. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he will only call another vote of no confidence if he has a chance of winning - but in January Mrs May precipitated one herself. 

Will May just resign after a second defeat?

Unlikely but not impossible. Defeat would be another monumental blow to the PM's political authority. 

Will there be a general election? 

There are mounting calls for one. Tory MP Charles Walker said yesterday if the House could not pass the deal, the current Parliament probably needs to be replaced so a new Government can be formed to tackle Brexit.

One of the advantages of an election is it would be much quicker to organise and resolve than a second referendum.

Could there be a second referendum on Brexit? 

There are mounting demands for a new public vote - but probably not currently a majority in the Commons for it.

A new referendum would take at least six months to organise and run. This could be optimistic as there is no consensus over what the question might be. 

Speaking in Strasbourg, where the European Parliament is gathering for a debate on Brexit ahead of the next European Council summit, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said: 'Again the House of Commons says what it doesn't want.

'Now this impasse can only be solved in the UK.'

He added: 'We are at a critical point. The risk of no-deal has never been higher. That is the risk of an exit - even by accident - by the UK from the EU in a disorderly fashion.

'I urge you please not to under-estimate the risk or its consequences.'

Mr Barnier told the European Parliament that the EU and its institutions are ready to deal with the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

And he said that when people asked him if he was disappointed by the UK Parliament's rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement he helped negotiate, he said: 'We remain respectful of the UK and its people.

'We remain determined, calm and united and we will remain respectful, calm, determined and united until the end of this extraordinary negotiation. We shall defend the Union's interests and those of its citizens.'

Amid speculation about how long she can survive in Downing Street, the Prime Minister's aides insisted she had not considered resigning. Boris Johnson is among leadership candidates sizing up their chances.

Mrs May is giving her MPs a free vote on No Deal – allowing members of the Cabinet to take different sides on what until now has been a matter of Government policy. She admitted she had 'struggled' with the question of No Deal herself, and sources suggested she would join Remainer ministers and vote against it tonight. As many as 18 ministers had threatened to resign over the issue.

A Tory source said Mrs May was 'quite clear about how damaging leaving without a deal would be' during yesterday's meeting of the Cabinet.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd told Sky News: 'It's a free vote, so everybody can do as they think is the best thing for the country.

'I know what I think, which is that leaving without a deal would be very bad for our economy, very bad for our security, but overall I'm just very disappointed that so many of my colleagues decided not to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement yesterday, which was a good deal, a sensible way of leaving the European Union and delivering on the referendum.'

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey told BBC Radio 4's Today: 'Now I think it's the opportunity for Parliament to set the agenda and take control because we have a Government now which isn't in control.'

Asked if Labour would push for another motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister she said it was 'something that we may consider in the future'.

Pressed on Labour's position on a second referendum she said: 'We have not ruled out a People's Vote but our priority is securing a deal.'

On an extraordinary day of drama in Westminster: 

  • Ministers said they would publish further details of No Deal planning, including slashing tariffs by 90 per cent; 
  • Some 38 Eurosceptic MPs, led by former Brexit secretary David Davis, switched sides to back the deal, saying they feared the UK's exit was in peril;
  • Just three Labour MPs backed the Prime Minister, despite a package of concessions and a £1.6billion fund for 'left behind' towns;
  • Eurosceptic MPs last night appeared to accept a Brexit delay was inevitable, with Jacob Rees-Mogg backing an amendment that would extend Article 50 until May 23, at which point the UK would leave without a deal;
  • Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the Tory 1922 Committee, said the chaos could spark an election;
  • Former foreign secretary Mr Johnson tried to burnish his Eurosceptic credentials by embracing No Deal;
  • EU negotiator Michel Barnier warned MPs there would be no transition period without an agreement;
  • Mrs May hinted she could put her plan to MPs a third time.

If, as expected, No Deal is rejected later, MPs will vote tomorrow on whether to request an extension of Article 50, delaying Brexit beyond March 29.

The PM warned Parliament faced a series of 'unenviable choices' that could lead to the EU demanding a soft Brexit or even a second referendum as the price of what could be a lengthy delay.

With her voice struggling under a heavy cold and her husband Philip looking on, Mrs May opened yesterday's debate by appealing to MPs to back her 'improved deal' or 'risk no Brexit at all'.

But she had already been dealt a hammer blow by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who warned the concessions she secured from the EU this week did not resolve his concerns about the Irish backstop.

He said the concessions would only 'reduce the risk' of Britain being trapped in a customs union if trade talks broke down. Mr Cox said there were 'no internationally lawful means' of leaving unilaterally.

The Prime Minister's hopes of saving her deal after a last minute dash to Strasbourg late on Tuesday turned to ashes in the Commons last night as the new concessions were hammered by MPs
The Prime Minister's hopes of saving her deal after a last minute dash to Strasbourg late on Tuesday turned to ashes in the Commons last night as the new concessions were hammered by MPs

The Prime Minister's hopes of saving her deal after a last minute dash to Strasbourg late on Tuesday turned to ashes in the Commons last night as the new concessions were hammered by MPs

There were 75 Tory rebels - down from 118 last time - as well as all 10 DUP MPs. Just three Labour MPs backed the deal. The Prime Minister got back about 40 MPs from the January 15 vote
There were 75 Tory rebels - down from 118 last time - as well as all 10 DUP MPs. Just three Labour MPs backed the deal. The Prime Minister got back about 40 MPs from the January 15 vote

There were 75 Tory rebels - down from 118 last time - as well as all 10 DUP MPs. Just three Labour MPs backed the deal. The Prime Minister got back about 40 MPs from the January 15 vote

Volatile pound creeps higher ahead of Commons vote on whether to rule out a no-deal Brexit - after soaring against the Euro when May's deal was crushed 

The pound continues to creep upwards today ahead of a vote in Parliament over whether Britain should leave the EU with No Deal.

The volatile currency has been steadily rising overnight since Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected for a second time.

It is now at just above €1.16, restoring some of the losses that occurred yesterday, but fears remain it could change at any moment given the uncertainty around what happens next with Europe. 

The pound also spiked against the U.S. dollar overnight, reaching $1.31, after Mrs May confirmed she would ask for an Article 50 extension if MPs supported one on Thursday.  

Sterling had yesterday slumped by more than one per cent after Geoffrey Cox admitted the 11th-hour agreement with Brussels on Monday had not changed his legal advice about the Irish backstop.       

The pound continues to creep upwards today after a volatile Tuesday when it soared and slumped in reaction to Brexit uncertainty

The pound has also risen against the dollar but has slightly dipped to $1.31 this morning
The pound has also risen against the dollar but has slightly dipped to $1.31 this morning

The pound has also risen against the dollar but has slightly dipped to $1.31 this morning

Financial expert Sue Trinh, of RBC Wealth Management based in Hong Kong, told the Financial Times the markets will continue to fluctuate and that a second referendum would likely have the most positive effect on the currency.

 

His refusal to change his legal advice dismayed May loyalists. One minister said: 'Cox completely ****ed up. His language was completely injudicious.'

Northern Ireland's border with the Republic will stay open - but would it be targeted by smugglers?  

The UK Government will not introduce any new checks or controls on goods moving across the land border into Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, it has been announced.

Under a temporary and unilateral regime announced by the Government, EU goods arriving from the Republic and remaining in Northern Ireland will not be subject to tariffs.

However, tariffs will be payable on goods moving from the EU into the rest of the UK via Northern Ireland under a schedule of rates also released on Wednesday.

The Government insists that this will not create a border down the Irish Sea, as there will be no checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Instead, normal compliance and intelligence methods will be used to detect any traders attempting to abuse the system.

Ministers accepted that the new regime will cause 'concerns' to Northern Irish businesses and farmers about the impact on their competitiveness.

But they said these were the only steps that could be taken to deliver on the Government's commitment to avoiding a hard border in the case of no deal.

Under the new regime for Northern Ireland, goods arriving from the Republic will still be subject to the same VAT and excise duty as at present.

Small businesses trading across the border will be able to report VAT online without any new processes at the border.

To protect human, animal and plant health, animals and animal products from outside the EU would be required to enter Northern Ireland through a designated entry point, while regulated plant materials from outside the EU and high-risk plants from inside Europe will require certification and pre-notification.

There will be new UK import requirements such as document checks and registration for a small number of goods such as endangered species and hazardous chemicals which are subject to international agreements.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said: 'The Government has been clear that a deal with the European Union is the best outcome for Northern Ireland.

'But we will do all we can to support people and businesses across Northern Ireland in the event that we leave without a deal.

'The measures announced today recognise the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland. These arrangements can only be temporary and short term.'

In the case of no-deal, the UK Government is committed to entering discussions urgently with Brussels and Dublin to agree long-term arrangements.

Mr Cox's advice led a number of wavering MPs to harden their opposition to the PM's plan. Its fate was sealed when Mrs May's DUP allies confirmed they remained opposed, fearing the deal would divide Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

The Prime Minister's plan was defeated by 391 votes to 242. Although an improvement on the record 230-vote defeat in January, it still represents one of the heaviest losses suffered by any government.

EU president Donald Tusk last night warned that the Commons vote had 'significantly increased the chance of No Deal' – and suggested Brussels would impose conditions on any delay, including demanding a softening of Mrs May's red lines such as ending free movement.

'The EU will expect a credible justification for a possible extension,' he said.

Speculation was also mounting last night that Mrs May could be forced to call an election, or face a Cabinet coup.

Former minister Nicky Morgan said: 'If Parliament does start to dismantle her strategy that makes her position very difficult and that's a conversation that the Cabinet will want to have with the PM about how long she wants to go on for.'

Remainer MPs, including former Tory minister Nick Boles, warned yesterday they would try to exploit the power vacuum by seizing control of the Commons agenda to pursue a soft Brexit.

Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin said Mrs May's decision not to whip the No Deal vote showed the Government was close to collapse. He told Sky News: 'I understand the difficulties she has but I'm afraid it just underlines that she has lost command over her Cabinet.'

Business leaders accused MPs of playing games and called for No Deal to be taken off the table today.

Mrs May had hoped her last-ditch trip to Strasbourg - where she claimed to have won 'legally binding changes' to the contentious Irish backstop - would persuade reluctant Brexiteers to back her deal. 

But with just 16 days until Brexit, the Commons rejected the revised deal by 391 to 242, as 75 Tory rebels, all 10 DUP MPs and almost every Labour MP united in opposition to the PM's plans, with only three of Jeremy Corbyn's MPs voting in favour.

Any hopes of persuading the Tory hardliners had slipped away earlier on Wednesday when Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said the UK could still be trapped in the backstop despite the changes in Strasbourg.  

Moments after the vote, Mrs May handed control of Brexit to Parliament, saying Tory MPs would have a free vote on no-deal tonight, and promising a vote on a Brexit delay tomorrow if tonight's motion is defeated.  

Mrs May has insisted the Government honours the Good Friday Agreement and will never erect a hard border but there is no clarity on how this would be done from outside the EU.

She said: 'To ensure the House is fully informed in making this historic decision, the Government will tomorrow publish information on essential policies which would need to be put in place if we were to leave without a deal.

'These will cover our approach to tariffs and the Northern Ireland border, among other matters.

'If the House votes to leave without a deal on 29 March, it will be the policy of the Government to implement that decision.'

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, whose unchanged legal advice yesterday started a domino-effect that destroyed Mrs May's deal, arrives in Downing Street this morning
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, whose unchanged legal advice yesterday started a domino-effect that destroyed Mrs May's deal, arrives in Downing Street this morning

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, whose unchanged legal advice yesterday started a domino-effect that destroyed Mrs May's deal, arrives in Downing Street this morning 

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who is believed to have demanded a free vote to stop a no deal Brexit, arrives at No 10
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who is believed to have demanded a free vote to stop a no deal Brexit, arrives at No 10

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who is believed to have demanded a free vote to stop a no deal Brexit, arrives at No 10

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay arrives for a cabinet meeting
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay arrives for a cabinet meeting
Home Secretary Sajid Javid arrives for a cabinet meeting
Home Secretary Sajid Javid arrives for a cabinet meeting

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay arrives for another crucial cabinet meeting today after EU no deal tariffs were announced today. He was followed into Downing Street by Home Secretary Sajid Javid

International Development Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt was swept into Downing Street by ministerial car this morning
International Development Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt was swept into Downing Street by ministerial car this morning

International Development Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt was swept into Downing Street by ministerial car this morning

Wales Secretary Alun Cairns and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley enter Downing Street today after Mrs May's catastrophic defeat
Wales Secretary Alun Cairns and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley enter Downing Street today after Mrs May's catastrophic defeat

Wales Secretary Alun Cairns and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley enter Downing Street today after Mrs May's catastrophic defeat

Under-fire Transport Secretary Chris Grayling entered Downing Street alone this morning
Under-fire Transport Secretary Chris Grayling entered Downing Street alone this morning

Under-fire Transport Secretary Chris Grayling entered Downing Street alone this morning

Mrs May also raised the spectre of cancelling Brexit altogether, saying MPs would have to decide whether they wanted to cancel Article 50, call a second referendum or leave with a different deal.  

A spokesman for the PM - who could barely speak after losing her voice - denied she had discussed resigning in the aftermath of the defeat. 

She is likely to oppose a no-deal exit herself but is suspending Cabinet collective responsibility amid claims that she has lost all her authority. 

MPs will vote on whether they agree with a motion that says they do not want to leave the EU without a deal. 

However backbenchers led by Tory former minister Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour's Jack Dromey last night put down an amendment that would reject No Deal outright.

Another group, led by former Brexit minister Steve Baker tabled an amendment that would seek an extension of Article 50 until May 22. It was signed by Damian Green, Iain Duncan Smith, Nicky Morgan, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Simon Hart and the DUP's Nigel Dodds.

Tory deputy chairman James Cleverly last night warned it would be a mistake for MPs to take No Deal off the table. He said: 'I believe it weakens our hand.' 

Labour said Mrs May had 'given up any pretence of leading the country' after Jeremy Corbyn led his troops against the negotiated deal. 

In the aftermath of the devastating defeat the Prime Minister said that the choices facing the UK were 'unenviable', but because of the rejection of her deal, 'they are choices that must be faced'.

She warned 'voting against leaving without a deal does not solve the problems we face' as she insisted the referendum must be delivered.

Mrs May announced the No Deal motion would say crashing out was the 'default' option in UK law but few in Westminster think there is any chance it will not be defeated tomorrow night.

She admitted to having 'personally struggled' with the conflict between delivering Brexit and avoiding the 'potential damage to the Union' that No Deal could do to Northern Ireland. 

'If the House votes to leave without a deal on 29 March, it will be the policy of the Government to implement that decision,' she said. 

'If the House declines to approve leaving without a deal on 29 March, the Government will, following that vote, bring forward a motion on Thursday on whether Parliament wants to seek an extension to article 50.'   

Geoffrey Cox's letter legal risk
Geoffrey Cox's letter legal risk
Geoffrey Cox's letter legal risk
Geoffrey Cox's letter legal risk

This is the Attorney General's letter to the Prime Minister that admitted her tweaked deal had failed to change his advice that Britain could be trapped in a backstop arrangement with the EU in Ireland

But the possibility fatal blow to Mrs May's was contained at the end of the letter, in paragraph 19, where he said 'the legal risk [of the backstop] remains unchanged'
But the possibility fatal blow to Mrs May's was contained at the end of the letter, in paragraph 19, where he said 'the legal risk [of the backstop] remains unchanged'

But the possibility fatal blow to Mrs May's was contained at the end of the letter, in paragraph 19, where he said 'the legal risk [of the backstop] remains unchanged'

Before last night's vote Mrs May warned defeat for the deal would trigger a 'moment of crisis' and insisted if MPs refused to back it 'Brexit could be lost'.

But after Attorney General Geoffrey Cox ruled three new documents agreed in Brussels did nothing to stop the legal risk that the Irish backstop could become permanent, most Tory rebels rejected the deal a second time.

Remain supporters will hope to use disarray in the aftermath of last night's vote to force a second referendum while Mrs May will face inevitable demands to resign. Expectation is also rising there could be a snap general election.

The PM knew her fate before Speaker John Bercow called the vote at 7pm, after Brexiteer ringleader Jacob Rees-Mogg announced the majority of his European Research Group would vote against the deal.

Mr Rees-Mogg said earlier the advice meant he could only back the deal if Brexit was at risk - a threat he branded a 'phantom' this afternoon despite Mrs May's warning. 

And Boris Johnson warned Mrs May her plans have 'reached the end of the road' and said No Deal was the only way for Britain to leave the EU with 'self-respect'. 

He insisted the ailing package should be 'put to bed' - despite Westminster being rife with rumours of a third vote.

The DUP - whose 10 MPs prop up Mrs May in Downing Street - led the charge against the PM after declaring her concessions 'not enough'.

A handful of Conservatives who voted No on January 15 switched to back the deal last night. But the 20 switchers identified by MailOnline were far short of the 116 extra votes Mrs May needed to reverse the 230 vote loss of January 15. 

As she made her final plea Mrs May said, croakily: 'A lot of focus has been on the legal changes - but if this vote does not pass Brexit could be lost'.

She told MPs: 'This is the moment and this is the time - time for us to come together, back this motion and get the deal done. We cannot serve our country by overturning a democratic decision of the British people. We cannot serve by prolonging a debate the British people now wish to see settled'. 

As MPs poked fun at her croaky voice and critics offered her throat sweets she hit back: 'You may say that but you should hear Jean-Claude Juncker's voice after our talks'.

Jeremy Corbyn, who has flirted with MPs campaigning for a second referendum and a softer Brexit, confronted Mrs May and urged MPs to throw out her deal calling her negotiations a 'failure' and said he 'looked forward to Parliament taking control'.

Labour MPs almost all voted No despite Mrs May's attempts to win them over with new protections for workers' rights and money for struggling towns. 

Charles Walker, vice chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, warned that defeat in the second 'meaningful vote' on the Withdrawal Agreement would lead to a general election.

He told BBC Radio 4's World At One yesterday: 'If it doesn't go through tonight, as sure as night follows day, there will be a general election within a matter of days or weeks. It is not sustainable, the current situation in Parliament.'

The likely fatal blow to Mrs May's Brexit deal came after her Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC admitted that the 11th hour deal struck in Strasbourg on Tuesday night failed to reverse his legal advice that Britain could be locked into EU rules forever through the Irish backstop.  

In his bombshell letter presented to the cabinet this morning Mr Cox said: 'The legal risk remains unchanged. The UK would have no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol's arrangements, save by agreement'.    

Theresa May tried to put on a brave face as her deal facesd defeat
Theresa May tried to put on a brave face as her deal facesd defeat
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox pictured in the Commons as he delivered his legal advice on Mrs May's Brexit deal
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox pictured in the Commons as he delivered his legal advice on Mrs May's Brexit deal

Theresa May tried to put on a brave face as her deal faced defeat and faced jokes about her croaky voice. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox had earlier delivered his legal advice on Mrs May's Brexit deal and said he couldn't change his advice on the backstop

Theresa May insisted that her deal delivered the Brexit that people voted for in 2016 and MPs had a duty to vote it through
Theresa May insisted that her deal delivered the Brexit that people voted for in 2016 and MPs had a duty to vote it through

Theresa May insisted that her deal delivered the Brexit that people voted for in 2016 and MPs had a duty to vote it through

A Volkswagen Golf would cost £2,000 more, a slice of gouda cheese 30p more and a Irish steak £2 more: What No Deal Brexit tariffs would really mean

A new tariff regime on EU products in the case of a No Deal Brexit will act as a 'sledgehammer' to the UK economy, businesses warned today.

The new levies, to be imposed from the day after a March 29 Brexit if MPs vote for a No Deal withdrawal, would force up prices on EU imports including cars and many food products.

The unilateral and temporary regime includes levies of 10.6 per cent on European cars and trucks which had previously been free of tariffs.

New cars built by German maker Volkswagen AG are pictured in a factory in Wolfsburg in 2016
New cars built by German maker Volkswagen AG are pictured in a factory in Wolfsburg in 2016

New cars built by German maker Volkswagen AG are pictured in a factory in Wolfsburg in 2016

This potentially increases the cost of a typical Volkwagen Golf by around £2,000. Car parts would face no extra tariffs to avoid disruption to supply chains.

And it introduces tariffs on EU goods like beef, chicken, lamb, pork and Cheddar-style cheese if MPs vote to leave without a deal.

This would result in a 255g Tesco rump steak from Ireland going up £2 from £3.80 to £5.80, thanks to a 53 per cent tariff, and a 265g Dutch gouda cheese at the same supermarket up 30p from £2.25 to £2.55, thanks to a 13 per cent tarrif. 

But tariffs will be slashed on imports from outside the EU, potentially lowering prices on goods from countries like the US and China, in a move which unions warned would 'destroy' jobs in manufacturing sectors like steel.

In special arrangements for Northern Ireland, the UK's temporary import tariffs will not apply to EU goods crossing the border from the Republic.

The decision - designed to avoid the need for checkpoints which might revive sectarian tensions - has raised fears of smuggling, as ministers insist there will not be a border down the Irish Sea.

Although tariffs will be payable on goods passing from the EU to Great Britain via Northern Ireland, customs officers will rely on intelligence and compliance work rather than checks on cargoes to impose the levies.

Ministers said that, overall, the changes would represent a 'modest liberalisation' of the UK's tariff regime.

They said that 87 per cent of all imports to the UK by value would be eligible for zero-tariff access - up from 80 per cent at present - while many other goods will be subject to a lower rate than currently applied under EU rules.

But British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: 'Even as the Brexit clock approaches midnight, MPs continue to squabble.

'Yet it is the public who will feel the impact of a no deal Brexit – tariffs, non-tariff barriers and currency depreciation will all push up costs and reduce the choice on the shelves we currently enjoy.

Free range chickens are pictured on a farm at La Bastide-Clairence in southern France in 2006
Free range chickens are pictured on a farm at La Bastide-Clairence in southern France in 2006

Free range chickens are pictured on a farm at La Bastide-Clairence in southern France in 2006

'Businesses are exasperated by the lack of clarity over their future trading arrangements.

How business leaders reacted to the tariffs 

'It is the public who will feel the impact of a No Deal Brexit – tariffs, non-tariff barriers and currency depreciation will all push up costs and reduce the choice on the shelves we currently enjoy'

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium chief executive

'What we are hearing is the biggest change in terms of trade this country has faced since the mid-19th century being imposed on this country with no consultation with business, no time to prepare'

Carolyn Fairbairn, Confederation of British Industry director-general

'There has not been enough consultation, preparation or planning to support the firms and communities that could find themselves at the end of a sudden shift in tariffs'

Adam Marshall, British Chambers of Commerce director general

'Hundreds of ships are currently sailing towards Britain without a clear understanding of the tariffs, checks, or documentation requirements, they will face when they arrive.

'Politicians must swallow their pride and find an agreement that can command the support of the House.'

But CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn told BBC Radio 4's Today: 'This tells us everything that is wrong with a No Deal scenario.

'What we are hearing is the biggest change in terms of trade this country has faced since the mid-19th century being imposed on this country with no consultation with business, no time to prepare. This is no way to run a country.

'What we potentially are going to see is this imposition of new terms of trade at the same time as business is blocked out of its closest trading partner. This is a sledgehammer for our economy.'

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said the tariffs would create 'winners and losers across UK industry overnight' and potentially cost the UK leverage in future trade talks.

'The abruptness of changes to tariff rates in the event of a No Deal exit from the EU would be an unwelcome shock to many of the businesses affected,' said Dr Marshall.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the debate in the House of Commons yesterday
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the debate in the House of Commons yesterday

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the debate in the House of Commons yesterday

Pro-Remain protesters rally outside the Houses of Parliament in London yesterday evening
Pro-Remain protesters rally outside the Houses of Parliament in London yesterday evening

Pro-Remain protesters rally outside the Houses of Parliament in London yesterday evening

'There has not been enough consultation, preparation or planning to support the firms and communities that could find themselves at the end of a sudden shift in tariffs. 

'As MPs vote tonight, this is yet another reason why they must act to avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU on March 29.'

The Unite union's assistant general secretary for manufacturing, Steve Turner, said: 'Theresa May and her Government need to stop the economic vandalism which is threatening jobs and livelihoods by properly taking a No Deal Brexit off the table and securing tariff-free frictionless trade with Europe.

'The UK's steel industry has been pushed to the brink because of the dumping of cheap Chinese steel, while our tyre industry is fighting for survival in the face of inferior alternatives flooding the market from overseas.

'Reducing tariffs to zero on the majority of imports, including steel, in the event of a No Deal Brexit would destroy jobs and leave UK manufacturers competing with both hands tied behind their backs.' 

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on March 29, the temporary schedules will apply for up to 12 months while a full consultation and review of a permanent approach is undertaken.

Proposed tariff rates on a range of food products were announced as a proportion of the so-called 'most favoured nation' (MFN) currently imposed by the EU on imports from countries which do not have a free trade agreement.

Rates include beef (53 per cent of MFN), poultry meat (60 per cent), sheep meat (100 per cent), pig meat (13 per cent), butter (32 per cent), Cheddar-like cheese (13 per cent), protected fish and seafood products (100 per cent) and milled and semi-milled products (83 per cent).

Tariffs on finished cars and trucks will be set at 10.6 per cent, down from the EU MFN rate of 11.3 per cent, while for finished buses the rate will remain unchanged at 12.6 per cent.

How did your MP vote? May was defied by 75 Tory MPs and won over just THREE from the Labour Party

TORY REMAIN NO VOTES (7

Guto Bebb (Conservative - Aberconwy)

Justine Greening (Conservative - Putney)

Dominic Grieve (Conservative - Beaconsfield)

Sam Gyimah (Conservative - East Surrey)

Jo Johnson (Conservastive - Orpington) 

Grant Shapps (Conservative - Welwyn Hatfield) 

Phillip Lee (Conservative - Bracknell) 

TORY BREXIT NO VOTES (68)

Adam Afriyie (Conservative - Windsor)

Lucy Allan (Conservative - Telford)

Richard Bacon (Conservative - South Norfolk)

Steve Baker (Conservative - Wycombe)

John Baron (Conservative - Basildon and Billericay)

Crispin Blunt (Conservative - Reigate)

Peter Bone (Conservative - Wellingborough)

Suella Braverman (Conservative - Fareham)

Andrew Bridgen (Conservative - North West Leicestershire)

Conor Burns (Conservative - Bournemouth West)

William Cash (Conservative - Stone)

Rehman Chishti (Conservative - Gillingham and Rainham)

Christopher Chope (Conservative - Christchurch)

Simon Clarke (Conservative - Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)

Damian Collins (Conservative - Folkestone and Hythe)

Robert Courts (Conservative - Witney)

Richard Drax (Conservative - South Dorset)

James Duddridge (Conservative - Rochford and Southend East)

Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative - Chingford and Woodford Green)

Charlie Elphicke (Conservative - Dover)

Michael Fabricant (Conservative - Lichfield)

Michael Fallon (Conservative - Sevenoaks)

Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)

Marcus Fysh (Conservative - Yeovil)

James Gray (Conservative - North Wiltshire)

Chris Green (Conservative - Bolton West)

Mark Harper (Conservative - Forest of Dean)

Gordon Henderson (Conservative - Sittingbourne and Sheppey)

Philip Hollobone (Conservative - Kettering)

Adam Holloway (Conservative - Gravesham)

Eddie Hughes (Conservative - Walsall North)

Ranil Jayawardena (Conservative - North East Hampshire)

Bernard Jenkin (Conservative - Harwich and North Essex)

Andrea Jenkyns (Conservative - Morley and Outwood)

Boris Johnson (Conservative - Uxbridge and South Ruislip)

Gareth Johnson (Conservative - Dartford)

David Jones (Conservative - Clwyd West)

Daniel Kawczynski (Conservative - Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Pauline Latham (Conservative - Mid Derbyshire) 

Andrew Lewer (Conservative - Northampton South)

Julian Lewis (Conservative - New Forest East)

Ian Liddell-Grainger (Conservative - Bridgwater and West Somerset)

Julia Lopez (Conservative - Hornchurch and Upminster)

Jonathan Lord (Conservative - Woking)

Craig Mackinlay (Conservative - South Thanet)

Anne Main (Conservative - St Albans)

Esther McVey (Conservative - Tatton)

Anne Marie Morris (Conservative - Newton Abbot)

Sheryll Murray (Conservative - South East Cornwall)

Priti Patel (Conservative - Witham)

Owen Paterson (Conservative - North Shropshire)

Tom Pursglove (Conservative - Corby)

Dominic Raab (Conservative - Esher and Walton)

John Redwood (Conservative - Wokingham)

Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative - North East Somerset)

Laurence Robertson (Conservative - Tewkesbury)

Andrew Rosindell (Conservative - Romford)

Lee Rowley (Conservative - North East Derbys

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