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Brexit to hit UK clothing suppliers the most

Suppliers of clothing who benefit from duty-free access to the UK might suffer due to Brexit unless special terms of access are negotiated, says a Textiles Intelligence report. It said suppliers in major clothing exporting countries like Bangladesh could be excluded from preferential access to the UK market when Britain leaves the European Union (EU).

After the historical poll that chose Brexit by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, UK has decided to come out from European Union. The exit process would take approximately two years as per a EU law mentioned in Article 50. In 2015, the UK was the EU's second largest clothing import market in value terms after Germany with a 17.7 per cent share of EU clothing imports into all member states. Bangladesh exported more than $3.5 billion to UK in 2015, and of the total export to UK, RMG goods accounted for over 50 per cent share ($1.62 billion)

Because the UK is a member of the EU, exporters in many developing countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Peru, enjoy duty-free access to the UK textile and clothing market under arrangements of the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). But if and when the UK leaves the EU, imports into the UK from countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia will, by default, be subject to a common external tariff as declared to the World Trade Organization (WTO).