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Telegraph: Brexit will cut shopping bills by £300 a year, says former minister

Date: 19 02 2017

Brexit will cut shopping bills by £300 a year, says former minister

British households could save up to £300 on their annual shopping bill after Brexit because a tariff on non-EU goods will no longer apply, a Eurosceptic campaign group has said.

New Zealand lamb chops will cost around £1.45 less and Thailand prawns 36p less, according to analysis from Leave Means Leave.

The price of imported breakfast staples are also estimated to fall, with certain honeys becoming 17 per cent cheaper and peanut butter becoming 13 per cent cheaper.

Owen Paterson, the the former Tory environment secretary, uses a piece in Sunday’s Telegraph to say the average household could save £300 a year.

He says that once Britain is “free of the dead hand of the EU” people will benefit from “cheaper food” and a “genuine green revolution”.

However critics will likely warn an expected rise in inflation and the possibility of new tarrifs on EU goods – including food – could have the opposite effect.

David Cameron warned food prices could soar families during the referendum campaign last year.

“Because so much of our food is imported, you could see the impact on a typical family of £220 a year,” Mr Cameron said just weeks before the vote.

“And when you take all these things into account, all these economic dangers, you really have to ask yourself, ‘Is it worth taking this risk?’”

Mr Paterson, who once served in Mr Cameron’s cabinet and campaigned to leave the EU, offers a different view eight months after the vote.

He writes: “Once we leave the EU we can leave the Common Agricultural Policy behind and start afresh. By leaving the Customs Union we will escape the Common External Tariff.

“Economists estimate that food prices will fall, saving the average household over £300 a year. This will benefit every single citizen and potentially provide an £8 billion boost to the economy. We then have to think how this affects our own food producers.”

Mr Paterson adds: “Freed of the dead hand of the EU and by leaving the Customs Union, we escape the Common External Tariff and every citizen will benefit from cheaper food. A genuine green revolution lies ahead of us. This new rural policy will work for everyone.”

John Longworth, the co-chair of Leave Means Leave, said: “Brexit will bring huge gains for hardworking British families.

“Many people do not realise that we are currently subject to significant tariffs when importing goods from outside of Europe because of our membership of the EU.

“The EU has been completely incompetent at securing free trade deals with the rest of the world so Brexit offers Britain a huge opportunity.

“Britain will now be able to secure free trade deals with the rest of the world and get a better deal for British families when they are shopping for food and drink, clothes, cars, electrical goods.”

February 18th, 2017: Telegraph