Researchers point out that Brexit is to blame for a third of food price hikes in the UK

LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s exit from the European Union has accounted for about a third of the increase in household food spending since 2019, at around £250 ($300). , researchers at universities such as the London School of Economics said. Said.

The UK has been battling inflation for more than a year, partly due to the highest rate of food price increases since 1977, with food prices rising more than 19% since last year.

London and Brussels have agreements that allow near-tariff-free trade in goods, but paper barriers to imports and exports, known as non-tariff barriers, cause delays and high costs.

A study by the Center for Economic Performance (CEP) compared changes in the prices of food imported from the European Union with those from farther away.

Prior to Brexit, the price trends of these products were similar, but after Brexit, products that are more affected by imports from the EU rose relatively, and this trend continued until 2023.

According to the study, between January 2022 and March 2023, the prices of Brexit-affected foods increased by about 3.5 percentage points compared to unaffected foods.

Taking into account the impact on food prices since December 2019, shortly before the UK formally left the EU, the cost of Brexit to UK households is £6.95 billion ($8.77 billion), i.e. We calculated £250 per household.

The report said food prices in the UK rose by about 25 percentage points between December 2019 and March 2023.

“According to our analysis, this figure would be eight percentage points (30%) lower without Brexit,” the CEP said.

Products with high non-tariff barriers, such as meat and cheese imported from the EU, will remain unaffected by Brexit after January 2021, when the Trade Cooperation (TCA) Agreement between the UK and the EU was signed. There was a price increase of about 10 percentage points higher than the EU has started.

Last week, a spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Britain’s exit from the European Union was not a mistake, dismissing criticism from prominent euroskeptic politicians about how Brexit went.

UK consumer price inflation hit a 40-year high of 11.1% in October, according to official data. It slowed to 8.7% in April.

(1 dollar = 0.7923 pounds)

Reported by James Davey.Editing: Barbara Lewis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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