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Brexit: Business group warns prices of items may rise by 'almost a third'

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2-min read
Floor stickers in the alcohol aisle inside a Tesco Metro supermarket ask customers to social distance as they shop, in London on September 23, 2020. - Britain on Tuesday tightened restrictions to stem a surge of coronavirus cases, ordering pubs to close early and advising people to go back to working from home to prevent a second national lockdown. (Photo by Hollie Adams / AFP) (Photo by HOLLIE ADAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
Floor stickers in the alcohol aisle inside a Tesco Metro supermarket ask customers to social distance as they shop, in London. Items could become “much more expensive,” with the potential hit of tariffs and rising inflation, Logistics UK said. Photo: Hollie Adams / AFP via Getty Images

The cost of some everyday items may rise by almost a third (30%) under a no-deal Brexit, a business group has warned, as the UK and EU move closer and closer to the deadline for negotiations.

Items could become “much more expensive,” with the potential hit of tariffs and rising inflation, Logistics UK said.

The group’s head David Wells wrote to the Sunday Times, urging prime minister Boris Johnson to work towards an agreement.

Wells wrote: “This is more than what he calls ‘turbulence’. It will have a serious impact on our economy. Logistics businesses, operating with 2% margins, cannot afford to take on these increased costs.”

He said that without a deal, UK logistics companies would be restricted to the number of lorry access permits for entering the EU. The group would only get a quarter of what they need.

“Our members are preparing as fast as information becomes available, but the risk to the economy is significant,” wells continued.

The UK government has warned businesses to prepare for a no-deal but said that a deal before the end of the year “remains our preference.”

READ MORE: Week ahead: Brexit final stretch, US election countdown, Eurozone Q3 GDP

After a week of sulking, the UK and EU have halted their stand-off. The pair yet again resumed Brexit negotiations after EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier arrived at Downing Street on Friday.

Barnier promised to “intensify talks” saying that both sides share a "huge common responsibility." He also warned that "every day counts" ahead of a looming 31 December deadline.

French president Emmanuel Macron is said to be laying the brickwork for a delicate compromise on fisheries, to help the UK and EU agree a deal. Macron who has publicly taken a hard stance on the issue, told French fishermen to brace for a smaller catch after Brexit, Reuters reports.

It comes after, UK’s trade secretary Liz Truss announced on Friday that the government signed its trade deal with Japan, calling it a “historic moment.” A deal was agreed in principle in September this year.

Watch: What happens if no Brexit deal is struck?