Jeremy Corbyn: ‘catastrophic’ no-deal Brexit could hit food prices

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Jeremy Corbyn bought some Yorkshire honey as he warned shoppers in Scarborough about the impact a “catastrophic” no-deal Brexit could have on their household bills.

The Labour leader snapped up the £4.95 jar at the town’s Public Market Hall yesterday before explaining how his party will do “everything” to take no deal off the table.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to people during a visit to Scarborough Public Market to discuss the impact of a no-deal Brexit on food bills. PRESS ASSOCIATION

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to people during a visit to Scarborough Public Market to discuss the impact of a no-deal Brexit on food bills. PRESS ASSOCIATION

Mr Corbyn was speaking after a study by the University of Sussex suggested a deal-less departure from the European Union could cause family food bills to rise by £220 a year.

“A no-deal Brexit would mean a rapid rise in food prices, it would mean probably a loss of tourists from Europe coming,” he said.

“It would mean a massive impact on the manufacturing industry all across the North of England, because the manufacturing industries mainly supply to Europe. Tariffs will come in, therefore that market will go.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a declaration to leave by 31 October, regardless of whether he can secure a new deal with Brussels.

As part of preparations for no deal, Chancellor Sajid Javid on Thursday announced a £2.1 billion funding package, including £1.1bn committed to plans to leave on 
Halloween and £1bn held in reserve.

Asked what his party would do to stop a no-deal exit, Mr Corbyn said: “We will do everything to take no deal off the table.

“If no deal goes through Parliament, which I doubt, but if it did go through Parliament, we would insist on a referendum between no deal and Remain, in which case we would support Remain.

“We will vote against no deal in Parliament, and we will, at the appropriate moment, table a motion of no confidence in the government.

“We have no confidence in their ability to deliver anything, but particularly a no-deal Brexit which I think would be catastrophic for this country.”

It was put to the Labour leader that many Leave supporters might see a rise in food costs as a reasonable price to pay for leaving the EU.

He responded: “Well, I just say to them to think very carefully about that, because it’s not just food prices that will go up, it’s also other imported goods.

“If there is a deal done with the United States then the price will be high – the price will be ‘America first’, the price will be access to our health service by American healthcare companies, and it will be deregulation of our working conditions and our consumer rights.”