London: The UK government will reintroduce duty-free purchases of cigarettes and alcohol with immediate effect if Britain leaves the European Union (EU) without a deal on October 31, Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced.
The Treasury said that under a no-deal Brexit, UK excise duty would no longer be due on alcohol and cigarettes bought when leaving Britain, meaning a bottle of wine bought at Heathrow by a departing passenger would be up to 2.23 pounds cheaper, according to media reports.
“As we prepare to leave the EU, I’m pleased to be able to back British travelers,” Javid said in a statement, adding: “We want people to enjoy their hard-earned holidays and this decision will help holidaymakers’ cash go that little bit further.”
Duty-free shopping is already allowed for those traveling to non-EU countries but was stopped for EU travelers when the bloc’s Single Market was introduced.
People returning from the EU would have the choice of continuing to purchase and bring home unlimited amounts of cigarettes and alcohol with duty paid – as is the case now – or to buy limited amounts at duty-free shops in EU countries instead.
According to figures provided by the Treasury, someone buying two crates of beer would save 12 pounds. (IANS)