Average Christmas bill 'soars by £80 due to Brexit price rises'
The cost of the average family Christmas could rise by as much as £80 because of Brexit-related price rises, a leading pro-European group has claimed.
Research from Open Britain, the successor group to the Stronger In campaign, suggests the cost of the average meal alone is set to go up to £163, compared to £138 the year before the Brexit vote.
They blame the impact of the post-referendum slump in the value of the pound making imported food more expensive, which has contributed to inflation currently running at 3%.
The group also says the average shopper could spend as much as £550 on presents, up from £499 in 2015.
Open Britain's deputy director Francis Grove-White said: “This is the nightmare before Christmas for hard-working families across the country. The cost of Christmas has shot up faster than Santa’s sleigh this year thanks to Brexit.
“Many families will be hoping the traditional coin in the Christmas pudding has been replaced with a wad of banknotes, otherwise they’ll have to make sure they’ve had plenty of brandy before looking at the huge Brexit bill for Christmas."
Earlier this week the International Monetary Fund defended its gloomy predictions for the state of the British economy.
Prior to the June 2016 vote, the IMF claimed there could be a stock market crash and a slump in house prices if the UK voted to leave, neither of which proved to be the case.
But director Christine Lagarde said the squeeze on prices in the shops was a trend the Fund had warned about.
“We feared that if Britain decided to leave, it would most likely entail a depreciation of sterling, higher inflation leading to a squeeze on disposable income and a reduction in investment,” she told a press conference in London on Thursday.
“People said ‘Oh those experts’, but we are seeing the narrative we identified as a potential risk being rolled out as we speak. This is not the experts speaking, it’s what the economy is demonstrating.”