• UK food prices rise as no Brexit deal reached

British shop prices have risen for the first time in five years as British retailers warn that no-deal Brexit will have "severe consequences" to the economy.

Food prices rose in August as a long spell of hot, dry, weather reduced yields of some foods produced in the UK, while oil and agricultural costs increased across global markets.

Overall shop prices did rise 0.1 percent this month, but this follows a more substantial decline of 0.3 percent in July.

Following this, the British Retail Consortium warned that customers will face yet more severe price hikes if the government fails to agree on essential trade deals with the European Union.

BRC boss Helen Dickinson praised retailers for keeping price rises to a minimum, adding there would be worse to come if the UK crashes out of the EU with a no deal (hard Brexit).

"Despite significant increases in costs in the supply chain, this month’s figures show that retailers are keeping price increases faced by consumers to a minimum".

She continued: "Current inflationary pressures pale in comparison with the potential increases in costs retailers will face in the event we leave the European Union without a deal. If that does happen, retailers will not be able to shield consumers from price increases".

This comes while the EU and UK negotiating teams continue to fight it out for a withdrawal agreement.

However little progress has been made due to an apparent lack of meetings between Dominic Raab, the UK Brexit secretary, and EU negotiator Michel Barnier.

Raab was granted just a two-hour meeting with Barnier last week and has only been offered a three-hour slot this Friday.

Barnier recently claimed he was available "24/7" for talks, but now is said to have been resistant to requests for lengthy meetings with Raab to discuss the details of the UK’s proposals.

This is due to Barnier's diary constraints, but tensions remain high with the negotiation deadline (March 2019) fast approaching.

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Aug 30, 2018 11:53 UTC
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