JEAN-Claude Juncker has recently spoken of an “economic and social disaster” resulting from Brexit, but for who? The UK and Germany (and, on rare occasions, France) have, for many years, been the only net payers into the EU (i.e. paying in more then they take out).

That’s just three out of 26 countries. So, if the UK leave without a deal it will fall upon Germany and, occasionally, France to finance the other 23 countries of the EU So just which countries will feel the effects of this “economic and social disaster”?

What is all this talk of tariffs (meaning import duties) about?

All goods entering the EU from countries outside the EU already attract tariffs/duties unless the EU and the supplying countries have specific free/preferential trade agreements.

These tariffs/duties are, almost always, paid in the first country of entry into the EU. So, if certain products from non EU countries attract tariffs/duties at present and these products have been imported into the UK, either directly or via the EU, the UK will have paid duty on them, either directly or indirectly so there should be little or no change to prices.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal the UK Government could; raise the duty rate, reduce the duty rate or even abolish the duty altogether.

There seems to be a misconception that the exporting countries will be able to impose tariffs on goods entering the UK once we leave the EU.

There has been a lot of talk of hold-ups at the ports due to customs procedures. Another misconception is the belief that goods currently move to and from the EU without the need for customs procedures. Nothing moves to and from the the UK/EU without being recorded.

The recent announcement that Honda will pull out of the UK has nothing at all to do with Brexit.

The EU has negotiated a trade deal with Japan to allow the free or preferential import of Japanese cars into the EU thus removing any advantage of having a production line within the EU (the UK) What, if any, consideration did the EU negotiators of this deal give regarding effect on the UK car industry and Japanese investments in the UK.

J Robinson, via email