Smugglers' paradise? No deal Brexit plans would keep the Irish border open

Cars being imported into UK

Cars being imported into UK

"The biggest change in the terms of trade that this country has faced since the mid-19th century is being imposed on this country with no consultation with business and no time to prepare", Carolyn Fairbairn, head of Britain's major business lobby the CBI, told the BBC.

The UK government has published the temporary tariff regime for a no-deal Brexit.

Some 87% of total imports to the United Kingdom by value would be eligible for tariff free access.

The head of a British carmakers industry group said the protections offered - which included no tariffs on parts imported from the European Union - would not resolve the "devastating effect" of a no-deal Brexit.

"If we leave without a deal, we will set the majority of our import tariffs to zero, whilst maintaining tariffs for the most sensitive industries".

"No policy on tariffs can come close to compensating for the disruption, cost and job losses that would result", said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

British producers of pork, beef, lamb and poultry, as well as dairy farmers, would continue to benefit from tariff protections.

"It's staggering that we are in this position with only days until we are due to leave". Her finance minister Philip Hammond is set to offer lawmakers an incentive to reverse their opposition to her plan by promising later on Wednesday to free up billions of pounds in extra public spending or tax cuts if a no-deal Brexit is avoided.

Brexit minister Stephen Barclay called the measures a "modest liberalization".

The decision to refrain from checks at the Irish border would be temporary while longer term solutions were negotiated.

The new system would mean 82 percent of imports from the European Union would be tariff-free, down from all of them now, while 92 percent of imports from the rest of the world would pay no duties at the border, up from 56 percent now.

However in a seemingly confusing loophole in no deal plan, Northern Ireland's border would remain open for at least 12 months and goods entering from the Republic would not face tariffs to preserve the Good Friday agreement.

"We recognise that Northern Ireland's businesses will have concerns about the impact that this approach would have on their competitiveness".

It said: "Recognising the unique social, political and economic circumstances of Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom government would not introduce any new checks or controls on goods moving from Ireland to Northern Ireland in a no deal scenario, including no customs declarations for normal goods". "These arrangements can only be temporary and short-term". But they disagree on the "backstop", or insurance mechanism, to exclude such border checks.

"These reductions are essential to ensure prices do not skyrocket after applying duties to European Union imports which are now tariff-free", he added.

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