Brexit: What it means for the price of your weekly shop, holiday, car and petrol
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Norfolk is bracing itself for Brexit. But what impact will leaving the EU actually have on your wallet?
The possibility of a no-deal Brexit has divided the nation.
But as the experts battle over trade policies, consumers still have unanswered questions over how much money less they’ll have in their bank accounts at the end of the month.
Here, we break down the likely price rises or falls in the average person’s weekly shop, holiday abroad, car purchase, and fuel consumption.
A rise in food prices in the event of a no-deal Brexit has been predicted across the board by retail experts – but to varying degrees.
Some have pegged the rise as high as 40pc, where Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, has predicted between 5pc and 10pc.
Many everyday items could rise in price, as they are imported, including bleach, wine and dried pasta.
However, Professor Joshua Bamford, director of the Centre for Retail Research, said that if prices rise too far, they will be axed from shelves.
“I think we will see price rises on milk, as we import a lot of that,” he said. “When it comes to domestic dairy producers who may have to put prices up, I’d like to see the government subsidising them as they did before we joined the EU.”
He continued: “But I believe we will see some empty spaces on shelves. When it comes to bananas for example, buyers simply won’t pass on a price hike to consumers.
“This will provide an advantage to the likes of Norwich and Great Yarmouth Market, which are at an advantage of getting the produce, sourced domestically, which aren’t in the supermarkets.”
The amount by which holidays to Europe may increase in the event of a no-deal Brexit is unpredictable.
Airline bosses at Ryanair have warned that flights may be grounded, where the Association of British Travel Agents have reassured customers they will be able to fly as normal after Brexit.
But in the event of a no-deal, some extra costs are inevitable.
Firstly, those wishing to rent a car will need to apply for an international driving license, costing £5.50.
Mobile roaming charges may also increase on some networks – though the government has introduced barriers to insure customers can’t rack up more than £45 in a month.
The difference to the exchange rate also varies depending on who you ask, but looking historically Brexit has tended to damage the pound.
In June 2016, the pound crashed to its 31-year low, down 7pc against the euro.
Alastair Archbold, foreign exchange manager at the Foremost Currency Group, is certain of one thing: “We’re now in completely uncharted territory.”
He added: “In my 10 plus years as a currency broker, I can’t recall anything in that time that presents such a risk for the pound, or that has the potential to affect sterling exchange rates so much.”
Analysis by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) suggests that EU tariffs on cars could add at least £2.7bn a year to imports and £1.8bn to exports.
Professor Bamford said: “When it comes to the UK selling cars abroad I think we should be OK.
“It’s true that EU tariffs on cars are high, but it’s very rare we sell a completely finished car to Europe. We tend to make 40pc of it, or certain components, and then send it to Europe for finishing.
“Historically we’ve had a reduction because of that, and it would make sense for it to continue. But for some reason once you’ve got politicians involved it becomes an crisis all over the world. I bet if you had two people from Sprowston to sit down and talk about it, they’d agree within 60 minutes that it made sense for both parties to continue in this agreement.”
The RAC has warned that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the average cost of a full tank of petrol may hit a record high of £70.
This isn’t directly linked to Brexit, but could be the result of a further weakened pound, paired with increasingly expensive oil.
The RAC warned that this could push prices to “heights never seen before in the UK”.
RAC director Steve Gooding said: “While pump prices are taking a breather, it’s worth remembering how much they have risen over the past 12 months.
“On average, drivers of petrol cars are paying about £6.50 more to fill up at the pumps today compared with a year ago. For diesel it’s around £7.70 more.”
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