THE SNP has warned that households across the UK are set to feel the “bitter bite of Tory Brexit” this New Year, with a significant number of people concerned about food prices, shortages and delays to gifts due in part to Brexit.

It comes after the UK Government pushed ahead with plans to impose an extreme Brexit in the middle of a pandemic – exacerbating supply chain issues, leading to an exodus of EU workers, increasing importing and exporting costs and a mountain of Brexit red tape.

As people prepare for Christmas and the New Year period, a survey conducted by Which? earlier this month revealed that “three in four (76%) are concerned about food prices while 56% are concerned about food shortages”.

Meawhile a “quarter (24%) are worried about shortages of toys and gifts for Christmas”.

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The consumer group also warned that the changes “have created a greater burden of customs paperwork for consumers and couriers alike” – meaning certain presents and parcels will be subject to additional rules and costs.

With Christmas gifts being sent, a separate survey by Which? found that out of the 7% of its members who had sent a gift to the EU since January this year a staggering 34% had faced delays and 30% were hit with unexpected charges.

Meanwhile, research published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) highlighted the rising cost of Christmas dinner essentials due to a combination of factors, including the price of turkey rising by 1.3%, cranberry sauce by 0.9% and Christmas pudding up by 0.5%.

Commenting, the SNP’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Patricia Gibson MP said: “As we navigate through this pandemic, this Christmas – like last year – will undoubtedly be a challenging one.

“I’m sure that households will be celebrating Christmas as safely as they possibly can – but it’s clear that people’s efforts will be further hampered by the burden of Brexit.

“The Tory government’s decision to impose an extreme Brexit in the middle of a pandemic was reckless and it continues to have a damaging impact. The UK is experiencing staffing shortages, supply chain issues, delays and rising cost of goods – with Brexit playing more than just a minor role.

“Recent surveys and research has shown that households are concerned over the bitter bite of Brexit – with rising food prices and availability of produce hitting Christmas dinner, custom checks, costs, supply chain issues and labour shortages also potentially impacting on gifts and goods under the Christmas tree.

“Brexit has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster.

“The only way to escape the neverending damage of Brexit is to become an independent country.”