The cost of your weekly food shop is set to rocket if Britain fails to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU, the House of Lords has warned.
Leaving the EU, as Britain is set to do in March 2019, with no deal could result in more expensive groceries and put food supplies at risk.
It could also put companies out of business, according to a depressing assessment of Brexit by peers.
A 'no deal' Brexit could also leave shoppers in a two-tier system where the rich buy expensive British products while those on lower incomes are forced to buy cheaper, poor quality imports, reports the Evening Standard .
While apparent Government confidence in Brexit remained high, the Lords remarked there was a 'striking contrast' between ministers' confidence and the concerns of those working in the British food industry.
Lords also raised concerns about UK ports becoming clogged with EU food if they became subject to the same import controls as non-EU products.
How will a no deal Brexit cause the price of food to rise?
- Brexit is likely to lead to a 22% tariff on food imports, according to a report for the House of Lords' EU Energy and Environment sub-committee.
- This doesn't mean the price of food will rise by 22% but it will almost certainly lead to higher prices at the checkout.
- To combat this the Government could slash tariffs on all food imports from inside and outside the EU. But this is likely to undermine UK food producers who would be unlikely to match the prices of imported food.
- Britain would be unlikely to produce sufficient amounts of food in time for the day when the country leaves the EU.
- The UK imports approximately half of its food. Nearly a third (30%) of our food comes from the EU while 11% is imported from countries with EU trade deals.