Almost half of the food consumed in the UK is imported, which means the crash of the pound after the referendum vote has had a startling effect on food prices. In Tesco, the price of flour rose by 6.1%, while bags of frozen vegetables were up by 5.5% in Sainsbury’s. Meanwhile, ice cream became 8.2% more expensive in Morrison’s. At the same time, butter prices rose 15.8%, fish prices rose 8.8% and tea prices were up 6%.
Some retailers look to hide the costs of Brexit elsewhere. Manufacturers have reduced product sizes, blaming the rise in cost of raw materials. The price per kilo of sausages in Sainsbury’s has gone up more than 40%.
Bread prices have increased by up to 20p a loaf after the devaluing of the pound following the Brexit vote. UK bakers report that the price of wheat has gone up 20% since June 2016, which in turn has pushed up the cost of bread for the consumer.
The cost of a budget Christmas dinner increased in 2017 due to Brexit related fall in the value of the pound, increasing commodity costs.
Thorntons, who despite having a large factory employing 3,500 people in Derbyshire, have factories in six other EU countries supply much of the chocolate consumed in the UK. They have warned that outside of the customs union and the single market, and facing non-tariff barriers, UK consumers could see costs of Easter eggs rise by 10% and possible go stale if they are delayed at border crossings.
Microsoft and Apple both blamed the referendum vote and resulting inflation for the increase in prices of their laptops. Microsoft increased the price of Surface Book by £400. Apple increased the price of computers, speakers and apps by up to 25 per cent.
Apple is raising prices on its UK App Store by almost 25% to reflect the sharp depreciation of the pound following the Brexit vote. In a statement, Apple said: “Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes and the cost of doing business.”
Exchange rate fluctuations and the uncertainty over future trade relationships have made toy manufacturers such as Lego and TY UK raise the price of their toys. The British Toy and Hobby Association predict that prices could go up by up to 15%.
Increased costs of raw materials, energy and transport costs caused by inflation, and exacerbated by leaving the single market, could push up the price of a pint by 15%. Your average pint in London would go up by 59p. Carlsberg have already increased costs by 2.6%, while Heineken have added 6p to a pint. Meanwhile, bottled beer in supermarkets has gone up by 16%.
Higher inflation, the impact of the pound’s devaluation and the potential for duty increases all threaten to raise the price of wine in the UK. Champagne is set to go up by £1 per bottle, prosecco by 59p per bottle and an average priced bottle of still wine could go up by 10%.
The accelerated inflation provoked by Brexit led to a 3.9 % fare hike for rail commuters at the beginning of 2018. The fare increase was nearly double the average pay rises across the UK.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the added tariffs on car parts would cost the average car owner an extra £21 a year to keep their vehicle on the road, according to a report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. On top of that, quotas, subsidies, customs delays and regulatory barriers – all of which are mitigated by our membership of the EU and the single market – would add an additional £49 to the average car owner’s annual bill.