Retail industry trade body the BRC has expressed disappointment with the Government’s sectoral analysis on retail, published as part of Brexit preparations.

The 15-page document is scant on detail about what the UK’s departure from the EU will mean. Part of the report, including views from the industry, has been redacted.

BRC Europe and international policy advisor William Bain said: “The Government’s Sectoral Analysis on Retail offers an account of the importance the retail industry has for the UK economy on jobs, growth and investment, and in supplying goods and services for consumers.

“It does not, however, provide any data or analysis at all on the future if the basis of the UK’s trading and commercial relationship with the EU changes.

“The BRC has shown throughout 2017 the major implications there would be for consumers on prices, choice and availability of goods of a Brexit without tariff-free trade with the EU.

“On prices, losing reciprocal tariff-free trade with the EU could raise prices for food and other imported consumer goods.

“On customs, without a deal to minimise non-tariff barriers, consumers face delays on the supply of goods.

“On people, the retail industry would be seriously affected without access to labour from the EU, with a range of skills, to get goods on the shelves and out to consumers.

“We want to engage further with Government, Parliament, and other decision-makers in these next vital months, to demonstrate what is missing in this document – that consumers would face the biggest hit on prices, choice and availability from a no-deal or weak-deal Brexit.

“Securing a fair Brexit for consumers should be the highest priority for Government and policy-makers in 2018.”