// If no-deal Brexit goes ahead, BRC says 85% of food imported from the EU will face tariffs
// Comments come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday there is a “strong possibility” of no trade deal with the EU
// Supermarkets would face “£3bn tariff bombshell” according to BRC
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) on Friday warned supermarkets and their customers will face over £3 billion in tariffs if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal.
Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there is a “strong possibility” that the UK will fail to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, adding that the current offer on the table “isn’t right for the UK”.
Johnson added that a so-called “no-deal” scenario, which he described as a similar relationship to the one Australia has with the EU, would still be “very good”.
If a no-deal Brexit were to go ahead, the BRC estimates 85 per cent of food imported from the EU will face tariffs of more than 5 per cent.
The average tariff would be more than 20 per cent, including 48 per cent on beef mince, 16 per cent on cucumbers and 10 per cent on lettuce.
This is due to the fact that supermarket chains will face new import taxes on goods from the EU, particularly fresh food.
It’s likely that many retailers will increase the prices of everyday food items to offset the tax increase.
“With just weeks to go, it is alarming that there has still been no deal agreed with the EU, putting customers in line for a £3bn tariff bombshell,” BRC director of food and sustainability Andrew Opie said.
“Currently, four-fifths of UK food imports come from the EU and without a tariff-free deal, supermarkets and their customers face over £3bn in tariffs from 2021.
“Retailers are doing everything they can in time for 1 January but no amount of preparation for retailers can entirely prevent disruption to food and other essential goods that come from or through the EU. With negotiations entering the eleventh hour, protecting UK and EU consumers from billions in tariffs must be the top priority,” Opie added.