Tesco food prices ‘likely to go up’ as Brexit happens, says chairman John Allan

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Tesco boss has warned food prices are “very likely” to rise as Britain finalises its plan to leave the European Union.

Chairman John Allan said the value of the pound and the possibility of increased inflation would most likely have a knock-on effect for consumers.

“We are trying to defend our customers from unjustified price increases, but that there will be some price increases going forward is very likely,” he told the Today programme.

His comments come after Tesco’s dispute with Unilever, which saw the retailer stop selling the company’s well-known brands such as Marmite from its shelves after Unilever proposed a price rise of around 10 per cent on its products.

But Allan said he did not think price rises would be as dramatic as 10 per cent.

However he did say inflation is likely to hit prices too.

“Remember at the moment we’ve got virtually no inflation,” he said.

Allan said he did not know whether a restriction on the freedom of movement of migrants coming to Britain would affect prices.

But he warned that industries such as agriculture would be impacted if the Government did impose a stricter immigration policy. “Industries that rely on packing and picking meat and fruit and so on are heavily dependent on migrant workers. Not just seasonal migrant workers, but people who are here 52 weeks a year.

“And I know our fresh fruit suppliers are very concerned that is taken into account. “We don’t just need brain surgeons and architects. We need many people who do much more ordinary but nonetheless extremely important jobs.”