Shoppers will ‘face higher prices for weekly shop’ after no-deal Brexit

The British Retail Consortium said supermarkets and their shoppers will face an annual £3.1 billion tariff bill for food and drink.

Shoppers will ‘face higher prices for weekly shop’ after no-deal Brexit

Shoppers will face higher prices for their weekly shop due to mammoth tariffs unless a free trade deal is secured with the EU, a leading trade body has warned.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said supermarkets and their shoppers will face an annual £3.1 billion tariff bill for food and drink.

The industry group said retailers will have “nowhere to go other than to raise the price of food” to mitigate the tariffs if there is no deal before Christmas.

It said many non-food retailers will also face “large tariff bills” for EU-sourced products, increasing the cost on struggling shops and their customers.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the BRC, said: “Unless we negotiate a zero-tariff deal with the EU, the public will face higher prices for their weekly shop.

“This would prevent harm to shoppers, retailers and the wider economy.”

The EU is the UK’s largest trading partner and the source of four-fifths of UK food imports, the BRC said.

Under the schedule, 85% of foods imported from the EU will face tariffs of more than 5%, while the average tariff on food imported from the EU would be over 20%.

The figures revealed that we are likely to see a 48% tariff on beef mince, 16% on cucumbers and 10% on lettuce.

The latest monthly retail price index for August revealed fresh food prices increased by 0.2%, while inflation for ambient food accelerated to 2.8% for the month.

Earlier this month, the chief of Morrisons, David Potts, said grocery prices will increase in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Mr Opie said: “UK consumers have benefited from great value, quality, and choice of food thanks to our ability to trade tariff-free with the EU.

“There is no time to waste, the UK and EU must hammer out a final arrangement as soon as possible.

“Coronavirus is already making life hard for consumers, particularly those on lower incomes, and a no-deal Brexit will have a massive impact on their ability to afford essential goods.”

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