Blackfriar: Brexit limbo is damaging people in Yorkshire

Dr Roger Gewolb, executive chairman of FairMoney
Dr Roger Gewolb, executive chairman of FairMoney
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Brexit uncertainty has hit Yorkshire hard, according to new research by loans comparison website FairMoney which reveals that over half (55 per cent) of the people in Yorkshire believe Brexit will increase the price of food and produce in supermarkets.

A fifth (20 per cent) of Yorkshire residents say they are now in the worst financial position they have ever been in and 41 per cent don’t understand how Brexit will affect household bills.

FairMoney said there is uncertainty over when the Brexit deadline is, what deals are still on the table and who will be running the country. It added that the ambiguity around Brexit is really affecting Britain’s personal finances.

It said that the latest votes and delays are pushing people and businesses to the brink of their patience and financial means. Uncertainty in business is particularly hitting jobs and communities that rely on one or two major industries or employers.

The research showed that 38 per cent of people in Yorkshire would care more about Brexit negotiations if it affected their household bills and 54 per cent believe that Brexit will make European goods in supermarkets considerably more expensive.

At a time when summer holiday bookings to Continental Europe have fallen by 5 per cent and risen 14 per cent to destinations outside Europe (according to the latest findings from flight booking analysts ForwardKeys), FairMoney found that 46 per cent of people in Yorkshire believe that Brexit will have a negative impact on the cost of their holidays.

This is at a time when 53 per cent of the UK population said that their average disposable income per week is less than zero.

FairMoney said it is clear that the UK population thinks the cost of many of their regular expenditures will increase after Brexit. 31 million people said they believe that Brexit will increase the price of food and produce in supermarkets and 28 million think that it will have a negative impact on the cost of their holidays.

The loans website said the effect of this could be monumental bearing in mind more than half of the population have no disposable income once the essentials (utility bills, shopping and rent/mortgages, etc) are paid for.

Dr Roger Gewolb, executive chairman of FairMoney, said the Brexit limbo is negatively affecting people and their financial situation.

“Many of us just need some degree of certainty so we can adequately plan for the future,” he said.

“The research that FairMoney is publishing shows a bleak picture of personal financial situation, and I urge politicians from all sides to come together for the good of our bank balances.”

This is all before Brexit actually happens. We, the people, have absolutely no idea about the damage that could be caused by a no-deal Brexit.

Yet if you’re a cabinet minister you are told about the dangers. On Wednesday Lord Kerslake, a former head of the civil service, called for analysis on the impact of a no-deal Brexit given to ministers to be made public.

He has written to the Cabinet Secretary urging the release of documents which he said outline the “catastrophic” consequences of leaving the EU without an agreement.

This week the Daily Mail revealed that a letter to ministers from Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill warned that a no-deal exit could lead to a 10 per cent hike in food prices, recession and reduced law and order capabilities.

Earlier this week Germany’s Europe minister accused 90 per cent of the cabinet of having “no idea how workers think, live, work and behave”.

Michael Roth said UK politicians “born with silver spoons in their mouths, who went to private schools and elite universities” were responsible for the current mayhem, but are unlikely to suffer the direct consequences of their actions.

The people of Yorkshire should be given all the facts rather than trust ministers who want to keep them in the dark.