Mars says chocolate prices will rise if UK doesn't get good deal on Brexit

Patrick Grafton-Green
The price of chocolate could increase in the UK after Brexit: Rex Features

The price of chocolate will increase if the UK fails to secure a good post-Brexit trade deal, Mars' top boss has warned.

Fiona Dawson, global president of the US firm, said if a trade deal isn’t reached with EU member states 30 per cent tariffs would be imposed on confectionery imports.

In a speech in Brussels to the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, she said those costs can't be absorbed by firms, so consumers will have to pay more.

This would hit products such as Galaxy, Snickers, Bounty and Twix, as well as other products such as Wrigley's chewing gum, Uncle Ben's rice and Whiskas cat food.

She said: "The absence of hard borders with all their attendant tariff, customs and non-tariff barriers allows for this integrated supply chain, which helps to keep costs down..

"The return of those barriers would create higher costs which would threaten that supply chain and the jobs that come with it."

The company relies on open borders as it has factories across Europe, she said.

Ms Dawson added that although food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, companies in the automotive and financial sector have been the focus following the Brexit vote.

She said: "There can be no economic advantage either side restricting trade with a large market situated on its doorstep.

"In simple terms, if the UK and the EU fail to agree on a new preferential deal, it will be to the detriment of all.

"Other member states should remember this is not about 'punishing' Britain for her decision to withdraw, but rather about finding the best solution for European and UK workers and consumers.”