Study warns poorest households would feel brunt of 'hard Brexit'

A no-deal withdrawal could see a rise in the price of bread, milk and eggs

Study warns poorest households would feel brunt of 'hard Brexit'

File photo UK and European Union flags. Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

A new study is warning that a hard Brexit could see a jump in the price of bread, milk and eggs.

Poorer households will bear the brunt of higher costs if there is a hard Brexit, according to new research from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the ESRI.

The study shows people here will face a rise in their cost of living of up to €1,300.

Those on higher incomes will be paying around 2.5% more - but lower-income households will face a 4% hike.

A no-deal Brexit would mean reverting to World Trade Organisation rules between the UK and EU – leading to tariffs and increased prices on UK imports.

Edgar Morgenroth, who co-authored the report, said poorer households spend a higher share of their money on basic food products.

“Those are also the products that under a WTO scenario would be hit most,” he said.

“That then affects the prices of the items that poorer households purchase more of.”

He said it will not be easy for consumers to switch from UK to European products.

“We do get quite a lot of products from the UK,” he said.

“There is a difficulty in switching but you can switch to other products – so instead of buying UK-made biscuits, it will be German or French biscuits.

“But of course, we don’t currently have them in the market and that is the other big issue.”

It comes as a group of British politicians arrive in Dublin today calling for a vote to reverse Brexit.

Among them is former Labour Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis.

He told Newstalk Breakfast this morning that the British Government is lying to us about their plans:

“What they say is that they want a frictionless border in Ireland,” he said.

“The truth of the matter is that they are not particularly concerned about Ireland.

“What they are much, much more concerned about is getting tax rates down, deregulating and getting a much better deal for the better off in London.

“Ireland, if that is collateral damage, they are perfectly prepared to put up with that – though they won’t say it in public.”

Mr Adonis is in Ireland to address a Fianna Fáil conference on Brexit and the future of the Irish Border.

He is joined by former UK deputy prime ministers Nick Clegg and Michael Heseltine – both of whom are also campaigning to keep the UK in the EU.