Ongoing uncertainty is making it harder for UK businesses to prepare for Brexit, the British Retail Consortium has said.
Chief executive Helen Dickinson issued the warning as trade negotiations between the UK and EU continue beyond yesterday’s deadline.
“The 11th hour has passed and every passing moment of uncertainty makes it harder for businesses to prepare effectively for the 1st January,” she said.
Dickinson explained that without a deal, the British public will have “no choice” but to pass on some of these additional costs to their customers who would see higher prices filter though during 2021.
She added: Moreover, new checks and red tape that will apply from 1st January will create an additional burden for retailers and their customers.
“Both sides must double down and do what is necessary to agree a zero-tariff agreement, or else it will be the public that pay the price of this failure.
“With many people’s finances already strained by the economic impact of coronavirus, households can ill-afford a significant rise in food prices. For the sake of customers and businesses around the UK, we need a deal in the next three weeks.”