WTO members rebuff EU/UK Brexit tariff plan

BTN News
Thursday, 12 October 2017
Britain and the EU have hit a wall after members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rebuffed their plan to split up the EU’s tariff quotas and farm subsidies 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.
But the US and other WTO members say the method the UK and the EU propose would allow them to reduce their obligations as WTO members.
“Such an outcome would not be consistent with the principle of leaving other [WTO] members no worse off, nor fully-honour existing access commitments. Thus, we cannot accept such an agreement,” the WTO countries wrote.
The UK's WTO membership obligations currently are managed by the EU.