Family food shops ‘will go up £220 next year in no-deal Brexit scenario’

Food prices will rise and the cost of a family shop will go up by £220 a year if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, a report has claimed.

Researchers at the University of Sussex have suggested the cost of food will increase by 7% next year in a no-deal scenario.

Food bank charity the Trussell Trust has called for a “dedicated hardship fund” to help those affected by any rise in food prices after Brexit, warning there are limits to how much they can prepare.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “gambling with people’s lives” by threatening a no-deal Brexit.

Ahead of a visit to a food market in Scarborough on Friday, Mr Corbyn said the impact of no-deal on food prices, jobs and our manufacturing industry “will be disastrous”.

He added: “After nine years of austerity holding down people’s pay, with food bank use at an all-time high and with millions of people living in poverty in one of the richest countries in the world, a hike in food prices will be unaffordable for many families.

“Instead of handing out tax cuts to the richest and staking all our futures on a trade deal with Donald Trump that risks the takeover of our NHS by US corporations, the Prime Minister should rule out no-deal and concentrate on improving the lives of people struggling to get by.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Garry Lemon, the Trussell Trust’s director of policy, external affairs and research, said: “Any form of Brexit risks increasing the cost of food and essentials, and therefore increasing need for food banks.

“We’re giving Brexit guidance to food banks – but there’s a limit to how much we can prepare for and mitigate its consequences.

“The responsibility to prevent more people being pulled into poverty lies with our government.

“We cannot rely on support driven by volunteers and food donations to pick up the pieces, particularly in the event of no-deal.

“To anchor people from poverty as Brexit unfolds, our government must ensure additional protections such as a dedicated hardship fund are in place throughout, alongside an end the five-week wait for Universal Credit payment.”

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