Food prices are expected to rise up after the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), because of the country’s dependence on imports and devaluation of the pound, a report says.
Meurig Raymond, the president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), made the remarks on Sunday, days after UK citizens voted in favor of a British exit from the EU, a bloc that the United Kingdom joined more than 40 years ago.
Raymond called the EU referendum result a “political car crash” and said that British farmers who get about £3 billion in subsidies from the EU annually were headed into “uncharted waters.”
He said food prices in the UK would go up because of Britain’s reliance on food imports and the pound plunging a 31-year low after the Brexit vote.
“Sadly, we only produce 60% of the food we consume, we’ve seen our self sufficiency fall dramatically, so we are very dependent on imported food,” Raymond told the Guardian. “So a weaker pound will mean higher imported food value.
“I would say to government … [it] could easily be held to ransom by other parts of the world if there is a climatic disaster or if currency is weak,” he stated.
Membership of the EU has been a controversial issue in the UK since the country joined the then European Economic Community in 1973.
Those in favor of a British withdrawal from the EU argued that outside the bloc, London would be better positioned to conduct its own trade negotiations, better able to control immigration and free from what they believe to be excessive EU regulations and bureaucracy.
Those in favor of remaining in the bloc argued that leaving it would risk the UK’s prosperity, diminish its influence over world affairs, and result in trade barriers between the UK and the EU.
After the Brexit vote, the British pound crashed to its lowest levels in 31 years, dropping below $1.35 for the first time since 1985.