The UK’s petrol and diesel producers have criticised a government decision not to introduce tariffs on imported fuel if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

When the government initially announced its plans not to impose tariffs it was warned the viability of the UK refining industry would be threatened by cheaper imports, while exports to the EU would be hit by tariffs, but this week it confirmed its position.

UKPIA director-general Stephen Marcos Jones said: “The UK Government’s decision not to amend the draft tariff schedule for petroleum products is disappointing, and likely to create significant long-term competitive issues for UK refineries.

“UKPIA and our refining members have consistently argued that, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, the UK Government should introduce a reciprocal tariff regime for petroleum products to ensure a level playing field for UK industry.

“This remains the best way forward to ensure a resilient domestic fuel manufacturing sector that currently provides UK consumers with the cheapest pre-tax petrol and diesel prices in the EU, and we will continue to press our case urgently with ministers in the coming days.”