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Price of imported fruit and vegetables

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The price of food imported from the EU is likely to rise by up to 8% as Britain is forced to impose extra border controls after Brexit, making it more difficult import foods that we cannot produce ourselves.

Last year the UK imported food and agriculture products worth £47.5bn. 71% were from EU nations. The most valuable imports include Dutch and Spanish fruit, vegetables and flowers as well as French wine.

Harry Smit, an analyst at Rabobank said: “UK consumers should brace themselves for some price rises – perhaps by as much as 8% – on those products for which Britain is almost solely reliant on the EU.”

Smit’s arguments counter claims from Brexit supporters that food prices will fall, as high import tariffs on goods imported from outside the EU are removed. Sugar producer Tate & Lyle, for example, says its raw material costs are inflated by €40m a year due to EU import tariffs and quotas.

But Smit argues that prices are likely to rise whether the UK opts for tariff-free food imports as part of a deal to encourage international trading partners to welcome UK service companies, or imposes tariffs to protect farmers.