As new research shows that the public are growing increasingly concerned about the implications of leaving the EU, Which? is calling on the Government to make sure that consumer interests are placed at the heart of the negotiations.
Almost six months on from the EU referendum, new research for Which? finds that nearly half (47%) of people said they were worried about the impact of Brexit, representing a rise of eight percentage points since September.
The findings also reveal that six in ten (58%) of those asked said they were now concerned about the price of food, up from 50% in September.
Worries about the value of sterling have also increased steeply. Over half (53%) of those asked said they were troubled about the exchange rate of the pound, rising from around four in ten (44%) in September. For the first time our survey also revealed the percentage of people anxious about the prices of holidays, with the figure standing at four in ten (39%).
There were also doubts about how effectively consumers would be represented during the process of exiting the European Union. When asked about official Brexit meetings and the negotiation, just a third (31%) thought that the interests of consumers would be represented during Brexit negotiations. However, seven in ten (72%) thought that the interests of consumers during Brexit negotiations were either very or fairly important. This was significantly more than the six in ten (62%) who thought the interests of large businesses were either very or fairly important.
Which? believes it is essential that the Government places consumers at the heart of its negotiations and sets out how they will champion consumers’ interests. The impact on consumer confidence during the negotiations should be of paramount importance and existing consumer rights, such as rules on mobile roaming or flight compensation, and protections, such as food and product safety, should not be watered down.
Vickie Sheriff, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Which?, said:
“Consumer confidence is key to economic stability and growth so the uncertainty about Brexit that increasing numbers of people in the UK are feeling must be addressed.
“We have found there is a growing concern about the impact of Brexit and worry that consumers’ interests will not be represented in the negotiations. The Government must ensure that consumers have a seat at the table and are not unduly squeezed by price rises or lose key rights and protections.”
Notes to eds
- Methodology: Our bi-monthly Consumer Insight Tracker is a nationally representative online survey of around 2,000 UK households.
- Consumer worries
- Percentage of people who rate key groups’ interest in Brexit as very of fairly important
- The extent to which people expect the group’s interests to be represented in official Brexit meetings and negotiations
- Consumer insight article: http://consumerinsight.which.co.uk/articles/Brexit-Tracker-Nov16