MPs call on the chancellor to introduce duty free on arrival shops

More than 60 members of parliament and peers signed a letter urging the government to support the travel industry

Over sixty MPs and peers have collaboratively signed a letter to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak which calls for the introduction of duty free on arrival shops in British airports, international rail and ferry terminals.

Within the letter, the MPs write: “Not only will this have an immediate and lasting impact on the financial stability of Britain’s travel hubs, particularly regional ones, but it aligns with the long-term strategic objectives of this government – from helping to support a ‘global Britain’, bringing long term and sustainable jobs to the UK, and playing its part in the safe and sustainable recovery of international travel.”

London City Airport
Photo London City Airport

The letter was devised by Henry Smith, the chair of the Future Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group. It has received support from many MPs, including Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee and Lord Davies, a former government aviation champion.

Smith believes the initiative “showcases the strength and political feeling on this matter”.

The MPs argue that the new development will not take sales away from the UK’s highstreets but instead will repatriate transactions that are conducted at departure points, mostly across Europe.

Francois Bourienne, chair of the UK Travel Retail Forum, also supports the proposals outlined to the government: “Duty free on arrival shop should form an integral part of the government’s support package for our ailing travel industry. The beauty of this initiative is that it will not cost the government a penny. More than tax breaks or grants, the government should look to self-sustaining measures, such as duty free on arrival shops, which are mindful of the fiscal restraints on our economy and allow the industry to stand on its own two feet and flourish.”