Research by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has found that the cost of groceries in Sheffield would skyrocket if Britain were to crash out of the EU without a deal.
The BRC’s analysis shows that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit and the UK reverting to WTO rules on trade, the average increase in the cost of importing food products would be 22%. Furthermore, the cost of new non-tariff barriers on food could be as high as 29%.
The group calculated how much food supermarkets imported from the EU and assessed the impact that both WTO tariffs and non-tariff barriers, such as customs checks, would have on grocery prices.
The resulting analysis revealed that, for people in Sheffield specifically, the cost of groceries could increase by almost a third (32.4%). The BRC predicts that under WTO rules the cost of beef for UK customers would rise by as much as 29%, cheddar cheese by 32% and tomatoes by 18%.
These findings show how disastrous it would be for the UK to leave the EU without a deal. Many people in Sheffield are already struggling to make ends meet and simply can’t afford to have food prices go through the roof.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, we’d be immediately subject to WTO rules, which would mean extra tariffs and customs checks on our trade. It’s inevitable that these barriers would result in additional costs for businesses, which they’d then pass on to customers.
Theresa May has come back from Brussels with a terrible deal, which I’ll vote against. But I don’t accept that the choice is now between the Prime Minister’s deal and no deal. If, as seems likely, Theresa May’s deal is voted down in Parliament, I and other Labour MPs will do all we can to avoid crashing out of the EU.
Our preference is for there to be a general election and we’ll fight for that but, if that’s not possible, we’ll keep all options on the table to prevent a no-deal scenario.