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No Deal Brexit Could Suck £5 Billion Out of the U.K. Restaurant Industry

New research suggests once again that a disorderly exit from the EU will ruin Britain’s food industry

Chefs, waiters, and the pass at two Michelin star restaurant Core by Clare Smyth in Notting Hill, London

Brexit’s impact on the U.K. food and restaurant industry just seems to get worse and worse. After repeated warnings about price rises and food shortages in the event of a no deal Brexit, from food supply experts as well as supermarkets, now new research from MCA Insight forecasts a £5.4 billion plummet in the value of the U.K. restaurant market in the event of a “disorderly” no deal Brexit.

Under the research’s definition, the U.K. reverts to World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms and tariffs, with “severe disruption” at the border. In the event of a “disruptive” no deal Brexit, in which the U.K. government replicates existing EU membership deals, the research suggests that £3.4 billion will be wiped out. This follows research from the same organisation that puts 2019 growth in the U.K. restaurant market at 1.3 percent, the slowest rate in seven years.

Lead data scientist Daljit Johal said:

It is clear that Brexit has already had a detrimental impact on the U.K. eating out market, however our forecasts predict even bigger problems if the U.K. leaves the European Union without a deal.

Speaking on an Eater London panel in December 2018, restaurateurs Jeremy King and Monika Linton agreed that “in history they will laugh at us.” Linton, who founded Brindisa, which imports specialist products as well as operating restaurants, said ““food with integrity” will be devalued by lax designations: “people will pay more, for less.” She was also clear that “everybody in Britain can survive without a single Spanish ingredient.” The reality is this: “ministers are incredibly ignorant about what it’s like to be on the ground floor.” Perhaps money, though, will talk.


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