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08th Jan 2021

Percy Pigs could cost more in Ireland because of Brexit, says M&S

Jade Hayden

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a whimper.

Percy Pigs could end up costing more in Ireland because of Brexit, M&S has said.

Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe said today that products like Percy Pig sweets could be subjected to tariffs if the products are re-exported to Ireland and other European Union countries.

Reuters reports that about one third of M&S’s food products are subjected to complex “rules of origin,” as many of them are manufactured in Europe, imported to the UK, and then eventually re-distributed to EU countries.

Under EU law all of these products can be subjected to a tariff.

“The best example I can give you of that is Percy Pig,” said Rowe. “Percy Pig is actually manufactured in Germany. If it comes to the UK and we then send it to Ireland, in theory it would have some tax on it.”

This tariff issue will likely affect customers in Ireland, the Czech Republic and France, but M&S has said the company is working on rectifying the problem.

This comes after Debenhams was forced to shut its online Irish store due to Brexit. Customers who log onto the site are now met with the message: “We are currently unable to deliver orders to the Republic of Ireland, due to uncertainty around post-Brexit trade rules.”

The note also said the company “made the difficult decision to temporarily switch off”

Sam Lowe from the Centre for European Reform explained to ITV News: “Goods imported from Asia and re-distributed to the EU are not from the UK – they are from China or Bangladesh or wherever.

“That good will now be subject to a tariff when entering the UK and then again when entering the EU.” This could mean that there may be a lot more retailers pulling their websites and not allowing Irish customers to buy from them.

There are fifty major UK retailers who are looking closely at the new regulations for international purchases.