If needed, Britain's external tariff regime would be 'quite formidable', says PM Johnson

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly question time debate in Parliament in London, Britain, September 16, 2020, in this screen grab taken from video. Reuters TV via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday if Britain were to set an external tariff regime with the European Union, it would be “quite formidable” for some of the bloc’s products.

Johnson said he did not expect the two sides to put in place tariff barriers and again defended his move to press on with legislation that would breach the divorce deal with the EU as “belt and braces protection against extreme interpretations of the (Northern Ireland) protocol”.

“Our external tariff regime, were it to come in, would be quite formidable for some of their products and I think that’s even more reason why everybody should want to agree a zero tariff, zero quota arrangement,” he told a parliamentary committee.

Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Guy Faulconbridge