Post-Brexit border charges will further increase food prices, industry leaders warn

The Government has made clear its intention to implement full border checks on food imports from this October.


There could be further increases in food prices yet, even after UK food and drink price inflation hit a 45-year record of 19.2 per cent in March, as a result of new border checks caused by Brexit.

It comes after the UK government this week published proposals to charge a flat-rate inspection fee of up to £43 on each consignment of food coming from the EU.

The decision to impose full border checks on food imports from the bloc, will hit smaller firms harder, industry leaders have warned.

Shane Brennan, the director of the Cold Chain Federation, told the Financial Times that the proposals made little sense, especially given that the government was actively discussing imposing price controls on UK supermarkets to keep down the cost of food.

He said: “It is crazy that one week the government is holding a crisis meeting in Downing Street to discuss out-of-control food inflation and the next is willing to nod through a multimillion new import tax on EU food imports.”

The government has made clear its intention to implement full border checks on food imports from this October.

It comes after researchers from the LSE last month revealed that British households have paid £7bn since Brexit to cover the extra cost of trade barriers on food imports from the EU.

The university’s report estimated the impact of leaving the bloc on UK food prices found that trade barriers were consistently hampering imports, pushing up bills by an average £250.

Earlier this year, a policy maker at the Bank of England also said that Brexit was to blame for the country’s soaring food inflation.

Policy maker Catherine Mann, an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee, said that the costly red tape following Brexit had significantly impacted exporters from the EU who had stopped participating in that ‘traded marketplace’.

Need any more proof of why Brexit has been such a disaster?

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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