With only months to go before Brexit and still no certainty about exactly how the UK will leave the EU, concern about the issue has risen dramatically for those over 65, new research from Which? reveals.
The latest figures from the consumer champion’s insight tracker show that six in 10 (61%) of those aged over-65 said they are worried about the impact of Brexit. This has risen 34 percentage points since September 2016, when the data was first recorded.
The age group is now almost as likely to be concerned about the consequences of Brexit as those aged 18-34 (64%).
A sharp increase has also been observed in the 35-64 age group – with worry rising by 24 percentage points since September 2016. The current figure for this age group now stands at 60 per cent.
A dramatic geographical shift has also taken place. Seven in 10 (68%) people in Wales now report they are worried about Brexit. This is up 38 percentage points since September 2016, and the figure is now higher than that recorded in London (62%).
Levels of worry in both the West Midlands and the East of England now stand at 63 per cent. In September 2016, worry was 32 per cent in each area. The South East has also seen its figure almost double, rising from 35 per cent to 67 per cent.
Overall, 62 per cent of people in the UK said they are worried about the impact of Brexit. This number has climbed sharply since September 2016, when the figure stood at just 39 per cent.
Alongside the latest Welsh result, concern is currently at 65 per cent in Scotland, 63 per cent in Northern Ireland and 61 per cent in England.
Which? set out four tests earlier this year in its Consumer Charter for Brexit, judging a successful Brexit on whether it:
- Maintains or enhances current levels of product quality and safety standards
- Limits the potential for price rises and increases in the cost of living
- Supports consumers with a system that ensures their rights and access to redress are protected
- Maintains or enhances consumer choice of a high quality range of products and services
However, with no agreement yet in place between the UK and the EU, the Government’s own assessments of the potential impact suggest clearly that a no-deal Brexit would fail to deliver on these tests – and would have immediate and severe consequences for consumers in the areas that matter to them most, such as food, travel, energy prices and consumer rights.
To avoid the potentially disastrous consequences of a no-deal Brexit, the Government must agree a deal with the European Union that maintains vital consumer rights and protections.
Caroline Normand, Which? Director of Policy, said:
“The continuing lack of certainty about how the UK will leave the EU is clearly concerning people as they consider what it could mean for families and businesses across Britain.
“Consumers want a Brexit that protects and enhances their rights and gives them access to a wider range of high-quality, affordable goods and services.
“We believe that the best way to ease people’s worries is for the Government to agree a deal with the European Union that will meet these expectations and avoid the potential disaster scenario of a no-deal.”