Crawley MP Henry Smith is calling for duty free sales on travel to and from the European Union to return after the UK leaves the EU.
He is one of 40 Conservative MPs who have signed a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, calling for duty free to be reinstated for trips to Europe from 29th March 2019.
“The return of duty free would deliver a real boost to Britain. The benefits would be felt across the nation from airports to ferry ports.
“Duty free applies to travel to the rest of the world so it makes sense for it to apply to the EU after we’ve left.”
Duty free sales between Britain and the EU were axed by the EU in 1999. Since then duty free has only applied on trips outside Europe.
The letter says the return of duty free could also boost UK cruise ship ports. By having one non-EU stopover on a cruise, the entire journey becomes duty and tax free for passengers.
The MPs want the reintroduction of duty free on travel between the UK and EU member states to occur two years from the triggering of Article 50 (29th March 2019). They say that duty free should be brought back and people should also be able to continue to bring in personal imports from the EU like they do now.
The letter says; “these changes need to be made in good time in order to give operators time to be ready on day one of Brexit. We understand that preparations could take up to nine months for ferry firms and airport operators.”
Only minor amendments to legislation on VAT, excise duty and excise goods are required to reintroduce duty free, according to industry experts.
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