Steve Double MP: ‘Duty free sales on travel to and from the European Union must return after Brexit’
Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, is one of 40 Conservative MPs who have signed a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond calling for duty free to be reinstated for trips to Europe from March 29th, 2019.
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, organised by Dover MP Charlie Elphicke, says bringing back duty free will boost regional economies including Cornwall’s. Towns and districts home to ports and smaller airports such as Cornwall Airport Newquay, as well as the ferry industry and airlines, are set to benefit most.
Commenting, Steve said:
“I am delighted to join my Conservative colleagues in calling for the return of duty free after Brexit.”
“The return of duty free would deliver a real boost to Britain. Locally, with Cornwall Airport Newquay growing and consistently named as one of the country’s best regional airports, the return of duty free would encourage even more local people to use the airport with the resulting economic growth benefitting all.”
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 states to occur two years from the triggering of Article 50 (March 29th, 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.