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The price of Brexit Shoppers face instant rise in costs of breakfast cereals, sausages, chocolate and electrical goods


Shoppers face an immediate rise in the cost of many staples

Shoppers face an immediate rise in the cost of many staples

Shoppers face an immediate rise in the cost of many staples

THE price of a no-deal Brexit for Irish shoppers will be spelled out today with a warning that they face an immediate rise in the cost of many staples.

On the hit list for imports will be breakfast cereals, sausages, chocolate, electrical goods, textiles, potatoes, processed foods – even those using ingredients that originated in Ireland.

The cost of furniture, magazines and books will also rise.

The warning comes from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) which, along with other groups in the agri-food sector, will address TDs and senators today.

IFA president Tim Cullinan told the Irish Independent: “It is only now in our sector that many people are waking up and saying, ‘this is real’. But urban people and shoppers are still not conscious to it.”

He said that, in the event of no trade deal being brokered between the EU and the UK in the next 48 hours, the effect on the prices of many imported consumer goods will be “immediate” and will add significantly to the cost of a family’s weekly shop.

The overall burden of import tariffs on British food alone will be in the order of between €1.3bn and €1.5bn.Mr Cullinan said delays since the original Brexit vote in 2016 followed by the Covid-19 pandemic had dulled huge numbers of people to the imminent threat.

“The normal consumer doesn’t get it at the moment,” he said.

“Everyone in the food chain is going to be affected.

“We are all going to find it hard.”

The consequences of Brexit coming into effect in just over three weeks will be “severe” and will cost Ireland billions of euro – whether or not a last-gasp deal is reached in negotiations.

Even with a limited deal, the ‘skinny’ version of the free trade agreement, €5.5bn worth of Irish agri-food exports to the UK are at stake, Mr Cullinan will tell the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee this afternoon.

Farmers and the agri-food sector stand to lose most out of Brexit, now that a “comprehensive” deal is off the cards, the body will say, amid demands for a variety of State safety-nets for producers.

Farm incomes and livelihoods stand to take “an unsustainable hit”, in the event of no deal being agreed, the IFA leader will declare in his opening statement to members.

“Whether or not a limited deal is achieved in time, the impact will be a deterioration of trade – what is at issue is the degree.

“Regardless of the final outcome, Ireland and Irish farmers stand to lose out most.”

Director of Dairy Industry Ireland Conor Mulvihill agrees, saying that even a late and limited deal now will cause problems and loss of incomes and potentially jobs.

“Our concern is that now there is insufficient time for dairy and specialised business to adjust to an agreement, if indeed it is reached,” Mr ­Mulvihill said.

He complained that the one-year ‘transition period’ was to be a time for business to for prepare for the known changes of Brexit, “but in effect it has been a negotiation period”.

He says it has left businesses “with no lead time to implement significant changes and continued uncertainty rather than the promised clarity”.

Despite massive efforts at market diversification, the UK is the current destination for 38pc of Ireland’s overall agri-food exports, including 44 pc of all beef exports, 41pc of cheese exports, almost 100pc of mushrooms, 20pc of lamb exports and a third of pigmeat exports.

Online Editors