UK food prices could rise without a post-Brexit trade deal

The report “Brexit: food prices and availability” from the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee of the UK House of Lords examines the potential impacts of Brexit on the UK food supply. 30% of the UK food supply is currently imported from the EU and a further 11% from non-EU countries under terms set by EU trade deals.

The reports finds that:

  • If no trade deal is reached, UK food prices could increase because of tariffs
  • If, to counter price rises, tariffs are cut on all EU and non-EU food imports, then many UK producers could be driven out of business
  • Even with a trade deal between the UK and EU, leaving the customs union could cause “non-tariff barriers” such as customs and border checks, potentially overwhelming existing UK capacity and reducing availability of some products
  • It would not be easy to increase either UK food production or imports from non-EU countries
  • Fruit and vegetables may be particularly affected, as 37% and 40%, respectively, of UK supply of these comes from the EU
  • Any price increases could lead to greater food insecurity in the UK.

Find the full report here. See also the Foodsource building block What is food security?

Publication
21 May 2018
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Image: George Hodan, Brexit Referendum UK, Public Domain Pictures, Creative Commons CC0
Image: George Hodan, Brexit Referendum UK, Public Domain Pictures, Creative Commons CC0
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