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Brexit Weekly Digest 11 February

The Guardian reports that the government is preparing to reverse plans put forward last year to cut import tariffs on most goods coming to the UK under proposals for post-EU Exit trade agreements.

The Department for International Trade has opted to simplify the current regime rather than abolish large parts of it, as Theresa May’s government planned under a temporary scheme to follow a no-deal Brexit.

The trade secretary, Liz Truss, said she would consult business groups on whether the government should simplify its tariff policy, which she said would ensure greater choice and lower prices for consumers.  Truss said the purpose of the review was to simplify and tailor tariffs to suit UK businesses and households, “such as removing tariffs of less than 2.5% and rounding tariffs down to the nearest 2.5%, 5% or 10% band”.

The automaker denied the existence of the contingency plans, according to a spokesman for Nissan Europe quoted by the Financial Times. “We’ve modelled every possible ramification of Brexit and the fact remains that our entire business both in the U.K. and in Europe is not sustainable in the event of WTO tariffs,” he said.

A shift in banking and trading from London to the European Union after EU Exit could mean a loss of 3-5 billion pounds a year in taxes, an academic and former banker told a committee in Britain's House of Lords.

The biggest operator of ferries in the Irish Sea has confirmed that there will be checks, inspections and some new infrastructure for trade, and it wants to know what the government will pay for. The plans will affect both trade with the Republic of Ireland and within the UK between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as a result of EU Exit.

Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel are expected to set out their immigration reforms, including a drop in salary threshold for some migrants, at a cabinet meeting on Friday. Currently, skilled migrants from outside the EU need to have a job offer with a minimum salary of £30,000.  The BBC reports ministers plan to lower this threshold to £25,600.

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