Walpole requests urgent member support to overturn the Government’s decision to end tax-free shopping

As Walpole awaits a response from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, to Helen Brocklebank’s request that he urgently reconsiders the unwelcome decision to scrap the VAT Retail Export (tax free shopping) Scheme, we would be grateful for additional support from members.

Please consider writing directly to the Chancellor and sending a letter to your constituency Member of Parliament to solicit their support. Volume of letters and support from your MP will help the campaign greatly.

Helen’s letter to the Chancellor can be used as a template for both letters, and it is important to outline the specific impacts on your business and for the economies of regions that you operate your businesses in and the people that you directly employ, and your supply chains.

Your letter to the Chancellor should be sent to CEU.enquiries@hmtreasury.gov.uk and cc’ed to lbooth-smith@no10.gov.uk. Contact details for your local MP can be found here and by clicking through to their individual page.

Key messages to include:

– The British luxury sector is one of the UK’s success stories and can play a crucial role in helping to rebuild our economy and reinforce Britain’s reputation as a creative and cultural leader across the globe. Pre-COVID, it contributed £48 billion to the UK economy, and grew by 10% each year – more than double the growth of GDP, and employed over 160,000 people throughout the UK. Sales from international visitors were worth £4.5 billion.

– This decision – which reduces the UK’s ability to remain competitive with Continental European countries – would be a disaster at the best of times, but comes at a time when the luxury sector is experiencing monumental challenges as domestic and international shoppers stay away and the country edges towards the changes brought by Brexit.

– This decision will make the UK the only country in Europe not to offer tax-free shopping to international visitors.

– London is the British luxury sector’s international shop window. The removal of tax-free shopping will not simply affect sales in the capital, it will have a knock-on effect on jobs throughout the UK and other shopping and hospitality destinations in all nations and regions.