Quitting EU could hit UK households by up to 960 pounds a year – report

LONDON (Reuters) – Quitting the EU could leave British households up to 960 pounds worse off each year, according to a report.

A man holds an anti-Brexit banner on Westminster Bridge, in central London, Britain, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Households will face higher prices as they absorb costs from labour changes, tariffs, and red tape, it said, whilst consumer businesses could see profits slump by 1-4 percent.

The report by consulting firm Oliver Wyman focused on five different Brexit scenarios, where the size of the annual economic impact would vary between 245 and 960 pounds depending on whether the UK avoids EU tariffs.

The most costly scenario was predicted to be a deal where the UK reverted to World Trade Organisation (WTO) most-favoured nation (MFN) import tariffs, leaving the EU Customs Union and its Single Market.

Consumer prices could be affected further by a devaluation of the pound and the likelihood that free trade deals with non-EU countries would fail adequately to mitigate the impact on households, the report said.

Two months ago, a report by the House of Lords European Union Committee said food prices are likely to rise after Brexit if no trade agreement with the EU is reached, and that there could be shortages of some products.

Reporting by Isabel Woodford; editing by Stephen Addison

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