The U.K. Confronts Brexits Legacy as it Struggles to Shirk Inflation

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2023-06-09 18:39:50  • 5 mins

LONDON Gone are days when British consumers could brighten their mood by indulging in a bit of retail therapy. These days, as soaring prices for many products and services continue to hit eye-watering levels and take a big bite out of peoples finances, shopping particularly for groceries is instead a depressing experience.

To be sure, the economic aftershocks of the pandemic and Russias invasion of Ukraine have for more than a year sent cost-of-living expenses into the stratosphere in nearly all developed countries. But while inflation is easing fairly quickly in most richer countries, including those in the European Union and the United States, its remained stubbornly high in the United Kingdom in comparison.

And while Brexit, Britains 2016 decision to leave the EU and its single market, may not be the biggest or only reason for inflations persistence in the U.K., many economists say its made a bad situation worse. Its clearly part of the problem, says Jonathan Portes, an economics professor at Kings College London. Because of Brexit, prices are higher than they would have been.

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