How Brexit could hit an ordinary UK citizen
The UK has voted to quit the European Union – a decision that will bring change for currencies, trade rules, and the status of UK markets and regulations. It’s a transition that could take several years to play out in full, so what does it mean for the items on your average UK shopping list or household budget?
The value of the pound versus the euro, dollar and other currencies sank following the results and the outcome will likely mean a rise in inflation, albeit from a very low level.
BBC Capital wanted to find out if and how a vote for the UK to quit the EU might impact the cost of the things we love, use and rely on every day – some might feature in your shopping basket, while others might be something your family spends on annually. This is an informed view of what could happen, but not a conclusive or definitive view as many drivers of prices currently remain unclear.
We have gone to multiple expert sources for the information contained in this infographic – trade bodies, unions, government organisations, think tanks, financial institutions and research organisations – some of whom have expressed publicly whether they believe the UK should vote in or out.
The Healthy Option
Nearly 90% of UK tomato imports come from the EU, mostly the Netherlands (40%) and Spain (35%). Higher import tariffs could raise prices. UK tomato production may step up to fill the import gap.
The price of clothes and footwear might fall if Brexit allowed the UK circumvent import tariffs. Foreign retails would still be welcome on our high streets, local authorities are committed to free competition.
If the UK is no longer bound by an EU rule banning rooming charges from April 2017 consumers could continue to pay a premium to use their phone abroad. Phone companies may well be unwilling to put charges back up just for UK consumers.
Your Daily Vitamin C Shot
Citrus fruit is not grown commercially in the UK, 770.000 tonnes of fruit was imported in 2015, over 40% from Spain. Rising import costs could affect prices.
Current customs rules allow virtually unlimited amount of duty paid alcohol and cigarettes to be brought to the UK from the EU. ıf the allowance tightens, expect fewer booze cruises between Britain and France.
French, Spanish and Italian wines could become more expensive if import costs rise. The EU currently charges a 32% tariff on its wine exports to non EU countries.
The UK is likely to negotiate a a better deal than this and would be free to remove existing import tariffs on ‘New World’ from countries such as New Zealand and California.
EU Budget Contribution
Likely to fall by around 25%, according to HM Treassury. Norway and Switzerland contribute to the UK budget, but a lower level than EU members. The UK would also be able to decide how to spend the money transferred back to it from the EU.
The Dinner Party Must-Have
Harvesting asparagus is highly seasonal, labour intensive work often performed by EU migrants, who made up 6% of UK agricultural workers in 2014. Labour shortages could hit UK production.
Half of UK farming income comes from EU subsidies. While a Brexit could could give back more control over spending, many are worried a lot of farmers would quickly go out of business without the support of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Your Fromagerie Habit
The UK import 62% of of its cheese, and 98% of this comes from the EU. If prices rise, consumers may be tempted to swap Gouda and Roquefort for Cheddar and Stilton.
The UK has its thriving cheese industry and higher initial prices may provide an incentive to increase domestic production, driving down prices in the long run.
If the pound falls, then foreign currency will become more expensive, according to the Association of British Travel Agents. For budget airfares to remain, the UK will have to negotiate access to the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), which includes several non-EU mombers. Alternatively , the UK could try to reach a bilateral aviation agreement with the EU.
Importing cars from Europe could take longer and cost more. Cutting EU red tape could affect pricing either up or down. The Euro could also fall, which would cancel out changes in the value of the pound for travellers to Europe.