ParcelHero supports calls for UK to remain in a customs union with EU
The international parcel price comparison site ParcelHero has supported calls for the UK to remain in a customs union with the European Union (EU) after Brexit.
In a statement sent to Post&Parcel today (26 February), ParcelHero said: “Signing up to a permanent customs union means no new tariffs on UK- EU goods and ends the threat of new red tape and border delays.”
ParcelHero’s statement follows on from the decision by the Labour Party (the UK’s main political opposition party) to back the proposal.
In a speech today at Coventry University, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn also explained his rationale: “We have long argued that a customs union is a viable option for the final deal. So Labour would seek to negotiate a new comprehensive UK-EU customs union to ensure that there are no tariffs with Europe and to help avoid any need for a hard border in Northern Ireland.”
In his prepared speech (reprinted in full in the New Statesman and other sources), Corbyn argued: “When 44% of our exports are to EU countries and 50% of our imports come from the EU, then it is in both our interests for that trade to remain tariff-free.
“It would damage businesses that export to Europe and the jobs that depend on those exports for there to be the additional costs of tariffs and it would damage consumers here.”
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks, commented: “Without getting into party politics, as an international company that ships thousands of parcels a month to the European Union, we strongly support Britain remaining in a customs union with the EU.
“Membership of a customs union means we will continue to share external tariffs with all EU member countries post Brexit – meaning no new tariffs and taxes between the UK and EU, and no border delays and complicated Customs Invoices just to send parcels and goods to France or Germany.”
Jinks continued: “Britain currently shares a common set of tariffs with EU on imports from outside the EU, for instance there is a 10% tariff on cars and a 2.7% duty on golf clubs from outside the Union. Continued membership of a customs union with the EU will end the threat of new tariffs and taxes being imposed on UK exports to Europe and visa-versa. This means British goods won’t suddenly become far more expensive and uncompetitive in Europe, and EU-manufactured products won’t suddenly go up in price for British consumers.”
Jinks maintained that signing up for a permanent customs union is “very different and less contentious” than continued membership of the Single Market.
“A customs union is not at all the same as the Single Market, which used to be known as the Common Market,” argued Jinks. “While a customs union is about what happens at the borders of the EU, the single market is about free movement of goods and services within the European Union. The Single Market applies not only to goods, but also services, investments and people.
“It is the Single Market which requires the free movement of people within the European Union, to allow for the exchange of services such as plumbing. That is likely to be far more of an issue with Brexit voters than border tariffs.
“We hope that all sides come to realise that remaining within a customs union with the EU doesn’t go against the spirit of the nation’s vote in favour of Brexit and won’t impact on discussions around immigration or remaining under EU legal jurisdiction.”
ParcelHero’s webinar on Brexit is available at https://www.parcelhero.com/blog/expert-shipping-advice/will-business-survive-brexit