LONDON - Britain said it would eliminate import tariffs on a wide range of goods and keep the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland free of customs checks if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal.

The government announced the temporary measures, which it hopes would soften the immediate impact of a no-deal Brexit, as lawmakers prepared to vote on Wednesday on whether Britain should leave the EU without any transition agreement.

That prospect is alarming many employers as the March 29 departure date looms large. The government’s no-deal tariff plan, which would last for up to 12 months, would seek to keep prices down for consumers while also minimizing job losses among manufacturers in the world’s fifth-biggest economy.

Eighty-seven percent of total imports to the United Kingdom by value would be eligible for tariff-free access, up from 80 percent now.

Some protections for British producers would remain in place, including for carmakers — who are major employers in Britain — and beef, lamb, pork, poultry and dairy farmers.(FA)