Power told the joint Oireachtas committee on agriculture this week that he has studied retail food prices since the Brexit referendum in the UK on 23 June, that had put pressure on the value of the pound sterling.

It makes absolutely no sense to travel north of the border for food shopping

“On a basket of groceries, you’d make savings of 7%,” he said. If you factor in the cost of travelling and the time spent, “it makes absolutely no sense to travel north of the border for food shopping,” he added.

This does not mean that people don’t do it, Power warned, posing a risk to the Republic’s agri-food industry. The organisation Love Irish Food was created to promote products made in the Republic of Ireland during the previous currency crisis in 2009. Power said that he wondered about its relevance in the months prior to the UK referendum, but his doubts were dispelled by recent events.

The economist also advised that one way of making up for the negative effects of Brexit in the Republic would be to increase domestic capacity to produce the food we currently import from the UK, such as cheese, biscuits and yogurt. Irish products could then replace British ones if tariffs were introduced on trade across the Irish sea and British production declined after losing CAP support.

Read more

‘I cannot envisage an EU and a non-EU country not having a border’

Full coverage: Brexit