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Brexit to blame as UK shoppers pay up to 50% more than those in EU

July 30, 2022 4:29 PM
In The Guardian

Guardian Money examined prices of popular items at pan-European retailers including Ikea, Apple, JD Sports, and H&M, as well as Zara and Decathlon. It compared prices in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

It found that none of the retailers had generally lower prices in the UK, some, such as JD Sports, had prices broadly similar across Britain and the EU countries but others had prices in the UK that are markedly higher.


Zara linen blend tunic dress: UK £49.99 (€58.70), Germany, France, Italy and Ireland €49.95 and in Spain only €39.95.

Zara printed kaftan dress UK £79.99 equal to €93.90. In Germany it is €69.95, and in Spain only €59.95.

Decathlon Riverside electric bike: UK £1,299 (€1,525) France, Spain and Italy, €1,199. Decathlon largely blamed Brexit for the price differentials.

Decathalon standup paddleboard sells for £299 in the UK, equal to €351. But in France it is €269.

Ikea Billy bookcase. The basic version is £50 in the UK, equal to €58.70. Spain €59, France €59.99 - so almost no difference. But in Germany it was €55.

Ikea Koppang chest of drawers: £150 in the UK, equal to €176. Germany and Spain were this time significantly cheaper, at €149, or 15% cheaper than the UK, although France was higher.

Duties and taxes: beware extra charge If you spend more than £390 in shops in Europe there's customs duties and VAT on your return - which can easily add 20% or more to the price paid.

Unless you live in Northern Ireland, then it's a completely different story. The Northern Ireland Protocol means NI remains part of the EU Single Market for goods so that the province is treated as if it is inside the EU for customs purposes. That means the tax on an item bought in Barcelona and taken home to Belfast is zero.

The full Guardian article can be found here