Brexit drives rise in Britain’s food costs, lifts cost of living

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Brexit-related commerce limitations have pushed a 6 per cent improve in British food costs, including to a squeeze on client spending energy, in keeping with a brand new report.

Inflation for food merchandise Britain tends to import from the European Union, like recent pork, tomatoes and jam, was extra pronounced than issues like tuna and unique fruits that come from different nations, in keeping with the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance. The examine lined two years to the top of 2021 and tried to strip out the impact of the pandemic.

The figures underscore the financial ache stemming from Britain’s choice to exit the EU’s single market and customs union. That led to a rise in regulatory and border checks on items, boosting transport prices. Most of the rise in costs occurred after the commerce deal governing Britain’s exit from the EU got here into drive in January 2021.

“Additional barriers at the border such as checks, increased waiting times, and additional paperwork are costly for producers,” the researchers stated in the report launched on Wednesday (April 27). “Firms could change the partner countries from which they are importing, or purchase domestically. But assuming they were operating in the most efficient manner initially, any change is going to incur extra costs. These costs may then be passed on to consumers.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was elected on a promise to “get Brexit done” in December 2019, with Britain formally leaving the bloc in January 2020. Food merchandise had been among the many most uncovered classes to new well being checks and border delays, ensuing in a drop in imports and better costs, the report stated.

Consumer costs rose 7 per cent throughout the British economic system in March, the most important bounce in three a long time. While most of that was because of vitality costs, with scarce pure fuel provides driving up the cost of electrical energy, food can also be a significant driver of inflation.

The Bank of England has elevated rates of interest thrice since December, with a fourth rise to 1 per cent anticipated in May, to maintain a lid on worth development. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has centered help on folks with jobs, prompting criticism that he ought to do extra for all components of society.

“While Brexit is not the main driver of rising inflation or the cost-of-living crisis, this report provides clear evidence that it has led to a substantial increase in food prices, which will hit the poorest families hardest,” stated Professor Jonathan Portes, a fellow on the Changing Europe analysis group which funded the analysis.

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