Lord Bridges of Headley, the Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union, admitted that the government was considering the option of falling back on World Trade Organisation tariffs, a move that could significantly increase prices for UK consumers. Lord Bridges warned that if the UK is forced the leave the single market, there may be no other alternative but to agree to the WTO’s rules – a decision that could cost the economy £66bn according to a Treasury forecast earlier this week. The EU’s schedule of tariffs at the WTO lays out basic charges levied on goods from all countries outside the single market. David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, did however tell parliament this week that he did not expect Britain to revert to the WTO rules. Meanwhile, the Department for International Trade has been criticised for its delay in advertising for specialised trade negotiators, as the UK prepares to negotiate with its European neighbours.
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