Post-Brexit price hikes and food shortages

 

Sir, – Decimalisation, and the change from the pound to euro, both provided the opportunity for retailers to raise prices – and they took it. We have long memories in Ireland! Now the retailers want to do it again and are warning of more price increases should the UK crash out of the EU (“Food prices could jump 45 per cent in a hard Brexit, retailers warn”, Business, February 21st).

Most of the big retailers in Ireland, in clothing/fashion, and in the food sectors, are British-based organisations. Therefore, and especially with food, there are implications for British exports to Ireland and if we choose to purchase these imports, then we have to pay the tariffs that will apply.

However, we don’t have to import and/or purchase these items. The two major German retailers have well proven by now that Irish consumers have no problem adapting to new labels and have demonstrated that they can import their goods from further away than a British warehouse and still offer very competitive pricing.

While it would be impossible to avoid all of the price implications of the British decision, setting the scene for “inevitable” increases in the price of food, drink, and other items, after Brexit is false news and should be called out for what it is. We are part of the EU and there is no reason for importers to bring in high-tariff goods from Britain when the single-market (as proven by the German retailers) can offer all that we need. – Yours, etc,

T GERARD BENNETT,

Bunbrosna,

Co Westmeath.

A chara, – I wish to respond to politicians and hard-line Eurosceptics who are unyieldingly rationalising Brexit as “the will of the people” and depicting a consensus.

In fact, the 2016 referendum revealed a stark age divide, with younger voters – having the most to lose – emphatically backing EU membership.

Moreover, opinion polls consistently show that a widening majority of Britain’s electorate supports staying in the EU.  This excludes under-18s, who overwhelmingly want EU membership.

Despite growing calls for another vote, the Brexiteers who spoke of “taking back control” have become hell-bent on denying ordinary citizens any control over what happens next.

The lack of bravery is telling. Let’s have another EU membership referendum, this time with a voting age of 15 or even younger, to lay bare the real will of the majority.  

It’s time the UK government experiences a dose of reality. – Is mise,

SEAN ROBERTI,

Luton, England.

Sir, – If the backstop can be replaced by technology ensuring a free flow across the Irish Border, how come this technology cannot be used to solve the anticipated problems at Dover Port? – Yours, etc,

JOHN SLATTERY,

Glanmire, Co Cork.

Sir, – From a consumer perspective, I fail to see any crisis in food shortage on our shores (Business, February 18th).

What I do see is brand snobbery.

We enjoy at least two national supermarket chains, which were always diversified away from the UK market, offering the same goods, and even providing better value.

Yes, perishable foods need to be locally sourced, and given the threat of tariffs from our neighbour, that will mean more on offer on the home market.

It’s time the consumer gives up the “labels”, and focuses on what delivers the same results, freeing us to regard other, perhaps more pressing, issues with a better mindset. – Yours, etc,

TOM FOLEY,

Athlone,

Co Westmeath.

Sir, – The threat by British environment secretary Michael Gove to impose punitive tariffs on Irish beef in the event of a no-deal Brexit, in common with a lot of his babbling, lacks foresight (Business, February 21st).

This approach will not help the “deep and meaningful” post-Brexit trade agreement that the UK will be trying to negotiate after March 29th.

An attack on Ireland’s economy is an attack on the EU economy and as our friends on the mainland are so fond of saying, “we don’t negotiate with terrorists”. – Yours, etc,

BOB STRUNZ,

Scarriff, Co Clare.