UK households face ‘£930 rise in shopping bills’ without Brexit trade deal

06/11/2017 - 09:59
New research reveals that UK “households face increases of up to £930 in their annual shopping bills if Britain walks away from Brexit talks without a trade deal,” the Guardian reports.

With meat, vegetables and dairy products among items “subject to the largest consumer price rises under a ‘no-deal’ scenario,” research agency thinktank claims that poorer families and unemployed will be “especially badly hit,” as they “typically spend a much higher proportion of their income on food and other essentials.”

For Britain’s two million worst affected households, weekly expenditure is predicted to increase between two and 4.7% - equivalent to £400 - £930 extra a year.

Speaking to the Guardian, economists from the University of Sussex and Resolution Foundation, who produced the research paper ‘Will Brexit raise the cost of living?’ said: “The overall increase in price in the affected goods is estimated to be 2.7% and this translates into an increase in the overall cost of living of 0.8 - 1.1% for a typical family, with the unemployed and families, those with children and pensioners hit hardest.”

“This may seem a small number but, in a country in which the real incomes of ordinary families have been stagnant for several years, a loss of this order would have a significant effect on welfare.”

What’s more, as World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs are reportedly highest for fresh food – “reaching 45% for dairy products and 37% for meat” – and most of the UK’s supplies imported from Europe, this will continue to add to “inflationary pressures that have already forced the first interest rate rise in a decade last week.”

Claiming that Britain could counteract costs by “growing more (food) here” and “buying more from around the world,” transport secretary Chris Grayling said to the BBC last month: “It would mean that… supermarkets bought more at home, that British farmers produced more, that they bought more from around the world and it would damage French producers and continental producers.”

The government is expected to resume stalled negotiations in Brussels next week.

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