Ah, Brexit. In the “we’re all going to hell in a handcart” stakes, it’s been somewhat trumped (ahem) by the recent US election results, but it’s still very much A Thing. Not a thing that anyone properly understands, of course – will we have to pay for access to the single market? Where does the government actually stand on freedom of movement? Who knows! – but a thing that appears to be happening nonetheless.
The decision to leave the EU was often attributed to a desire to see Britain returned to a state of former glory. It’s a little ironic, then, that Brexit looks likely to negatively affect one of our country’s most cherished traditions: Christmas dinner.
Thanks to the pound dropping in value after Brexit, consumer goods in general are becoming more expensive – and it turns out that our favourite festive foods aren’t immune.
Business consultancy Mintec recently produced a Christmas Dinner Index for 2016, which compares the costs of a Christmas meal now to previous years. In turn, the financial folk at Business Insider have analysed Mintec’s research to figure out exactly which items will be more expensive this year.
Here are three Christmas dinner must-haves that look likely to cost more in post-Brexit Britain…
Around 70% of the UK’s total food and drink imports come from the EU – so thanks to the now-fluctuating exchange rate between the euro and the pound, we’re bearing the brunt of hiked prices.
Mintec calculated the cost of a Christmas pudding by considering the price of its traditional ingredients: raisins, butter, flour, sugar, and almonds. They found that overall, “major commodities for the Christmas pudding were up 21% year-on-year in October” – the highest level since 2013.
Raisins, for example, are mainly imported into the UK. Thanks to the falling pound, they were found to have increased in price by 3% since last year. Butter is more expensive than it’s been in over five years, while the cost of wheat (flour) and sugar has also gone up.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Christmas isn’t Christmas without roast potatoes – but they’re going to cost you more this year.
Thanks to extreme weather conditions, potatoes are in short supply in the EU. And because of the vulnerable status of the UK market, they’re going to be even more expensive.
Artificial Christmas trees
OK, so you’re not going to eat one of these as part of your Christmas meal. But if you prefer a pretend pine, it’ll cost you. Most fake Christmas trees have branches and frames made from steel – which has risen by almost 40% in price since January. Year-on-year, steel prices have soared by 35%.
If this has all leaving you feeling a bit bleak, we don’t blame you. Cheer yourself up by discovering the unexpected health benefits of Prosecco – and despite everything, have a very merry Christmas.