Brexit cost UK households an extra £5.8 billion for food

Food price rises hit every UK household Credit: Atoms Unsplash

BREXIT cost UK households an extra £5.8 billion for food according to a report issued by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics on December 1.

This only covers the period from January 1, 2020 until the end of 2021 and according to the report, this was the equivalent of £210 per British household.

It goes on to say that because low-income households spend a greater share of their finances on food than richer families, these Brexit-driven price rises had a proportionately greater impact on the poorest people.

The latest study confirms that food prices increased by 6 per cent and finds that for the poorest households, this equates to a Brexit-induced rise in the overall cost of living of 1.1 per cent which is 52 per cent more than the 0.7 per cent rise felt in the top 10 per cent of households.

While the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which came into force in January 2021, ensures that trade between the UK and the EU remains tariff-free, post-Brexit, there are more non-tariff barriers (NTBs) between the UK and the EU which include new comprehensive customs checks, rules of origin requirements and sanitary and phytosanitary measures for trade in animals and plants.

The study concludes that it is these NTBs that have affected prices. The rise in consumer prices was driven only by products with high NTBs and there was no significant rise in prices for products with low NTBs.

The changes have benefitted domestic producers of food, who now have less competition from European imports but unlike regular tariffs, NTBs do not generate any revenue for the government.

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