Brexit red-tapism alone has cost each household £250 in higher food bills since the UK left the European Union, according to new research.
The analysis shows that food price growth would have been 8 percentage points lower – almost a third – without Brexit, instead of an actual increase of around 25 per cent to 17 per cent.
Annual food price inflation in Britain is nearing historic highs, with some basic items rising by up to 46 percent in a year, official figures show, exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis.
The total additional cost of Brexit red tape to UK households is £6.95 billion, according to experts at the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, who looked at the impact of trade barriers on food prices.
Non-tariff barriers implemented since Brexit include customs checks, rules of origin requirements and health paperwork for animals and plants.
an earlier version of the paper, Non-tariff barriers and consumer prices: evidence from Brexitfound that leaving the EU on 31 January 2020 increased household food bills by an average of £210 over the two years to the end of 2021. Now this figure has increased further.
Between January last year and March this year, the price of food products that were more exposed to Brexit because Britain bought them ahead of the referendum in higher amounts from the EU rose by about 3.5 percentage points compared to those that were not, research found. Found in ,
The authors of the report blame products with high non-tariff barriers entirely for these changes.
The study noted that prices for products such as meat and cheese imported from the EU are set to rise by about 10 percent more than similar products not exposed to Brexit from January 2021, when the Trade and Cooperation (TCA) Agreement begins.
The rise in prices of products exposed to Brexit is not linked to other factors such as the Covid lockdown or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The fact that the results are driven entirely by products with higher non-tariff barriers imported from the EU offers strong evidence that Brexit is the driving force behind these effects,” say the researchers.
Supporters of the EU argue that food inflation will get worse when the government introduces new border checks in October.
The check will mean health certification on imports from the EU of moderate risk animal products, plants, plant products and food of high risk and non-animal origin.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show food CPI inflation at 19.3 per cent – slightly down from March’s 19.6 per cent – and consumers facing budget-breaking price hikes, such as olive oil, of up to 49 per cent a year . before, and baked beans up 39 percent.
Brexit has cost Britain £33 billion in lost trade and investment, according to a new study by the Center for European Reform, which found the economic damage is worse than previously feared.