Consumers are “significantly more likely” to buy British produce than they were two years ago as Brexit uncertainty continues to swirl, new data reveals.

Although Prime Minister Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement received the backing of her Cabinet last night, she could yet face a leadership challenge with as many as 11 of the MPs in the room reported to have rebelled against her proposed deal.

May could yet face a leadership challenge – and even if she remains in situ, her draft deal will need to be passed by members of the EU and in Parliament.

But as Britain prepares to leave the EU – in whatever form Brexit may ultimately take – research compiled by Walnut (formerly ICM) exclusively for Retail Week found 39% of shoppers are now more likely to purchase products made or produced in the UK.

When asked the same question two years ago – just five months after the Brexit referendum – 31% of consumers said they were more likely to seek out domestically sourced goods. That represents a 25.8% increase within just 24 months in the number of shoppers who are more likely to buy British.

Just over half of the 2,000 consumers surveyed (51%) said Brexit made no difference to how much British produce they would buy, down from 62% in November 2016.

In 2018, 7% answered ‘don’t know’. In 2016, 5% answered ‘don’t know’ (not included in graph above).

Of those surveyed by Walnut who voted to leave the EU back in June 2016, 53% said they were more likely to buy products made or produced in the UK.

Only 28% who voted remain said they were more likely to do so.

Significantly, 41% of shoppers said they would be willing to pay more for British produce if prices rise following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Just over a quarter of consumers (26%) insisted they would not be willing to pay more in order to buy British.

More than half of survey respondents that voted leave were prepared to pay more for products grown, produced or reared in the UK (53%), compared to just 32% of those that voted remain.

Of the remainers surveyed by Walnut, 34% said they were not willing to pay more in order to buy British, while just 17% of consumers that voted leave insisted they would not pay more for home grown goods.

Walnut’s research also found that three in 10 consumers are concerned they will not be able to afford some of the items they purchase now, if prices were to rise following the UK’s departure from the EU.

However, the 31% of shoppers who voiced this concern was largely flat compared to the 30% who said the same in November 2016.

In 2018, 13% said ‘don’t know’. In 2016, 8% answered ‘don’t know’ (not included in graph above).

Some 37% of people surveyed said they would start doing their grocery shopping at Aldi and Lidl if prices increased in the aftermath of Brexit. That compared to 36% of those who were asked two years ago.

A third of shoppers said they would switch to value operators such as Primark, Matalan and Peacocks to purchase clothes under a similar inflationary scenario, compared to 30% in November 2016.