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BRC says Brexit vote delay a major concern for retailers

Tom Bottomley
11 December 2018

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has issued a statement saying Theresa May’s delaying of the much-anticipated Brexit deal vote in parliament yesterday is a real threat for UK retailers.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said: “With just over three months to go until the UK leaves the EU, any delay to a future agreement is particularly concerning. Retailers urgently need certainty about what our future trading relationship with our neighbours on the continent will be.”

With reports of major in-parliament disagreements rife, and several cabinet ministers having already resigned over the proposed deal with the EU, the renege on yesterday’s Brexit deal vote, in which May faced near certain defeat, has sent shudders through the retail sector. A no-deal Brexit seems alarmingly to be a likely outcome if no agreement can be achieved.

Says Dickinson: “A no-deal outcome would harm consumers, resulting in higher prices and less choice on the shelves. We call on parliament to urgently find a workable proposal to avoid a catastrophic no-deal Brexit. Time is running out.”

Theresa May is in Europe today for emergency talks. However, it has already been reported that Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, has claimed there is “no room whatsoever for renegotiation”.

A vote on the final deal could now be delayed until January, with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit rising significantly. Sky News reported on 4 December that Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, warned a no-deal Brexit could see average shop prices rise by 10%, causing strain on both retailers and consumers alike.

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