NEWS
01/08/2019 22:47 BST | Updated 02/08/2019 08:46 BST

No-Deal Brexit Will Add £220 To Your Food Shopping Bill, New Study Says

It comes as a leaked government report warns of panic and food shortages.

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 new 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.

 It comes as a leaked government report warns of “consumer panic”, food shortages and an increased security threat within a fortnight.

The slide, prepared for ministers and obtained by Sky News, says the pound could fall in the first month while Northern Ireland may face law and order challenges.

Marked “official sensitive” and titled “What this could look like on the ground”, it also warns that UK nationals in the European Union could lose access to services and residence rights within the first 24 hours. 

Sam Coates/Sky News/PA

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.”

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.”