Fish and chip shops fear being battered as costs soar, MP warns

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen urged the Government to ‘protect the future’ of ‘a great part of British life’.

03 March 2022

Many fish and chip shops are worried they might have to close due to the “volatile” state of the economy, a Conservative MP has warned.

Speaking in the House of Commons chamber during Business Questions, Andrew Bridgen asked the Government to lay out what action it is going to take to “protect the future of our fish and chip shops”, which are a “great part of British life”.

The MP for North West Leicestershire said the owner of an “award-winning” fish and chip shop in his constituency told him “the business outlook has never been more volatile, with record price rises for fish, batter, fat, wrapping paper and of course, energy”.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen (PA)

Mr Bridgen added: “Many fish and chip shops are worried about whether they are actually going to survive, so, could we have a statement from the Government about what action the Government is going to take to ensure they protect the future of our fish and chip shops, a great part of British life?”

Commons Leader Mark Spencer jokingly told MPs “I declare an interest in fish and chips”, before adding: “Takeaways are a huge part of the night-time economy. Those businesses are actually a service they provide to our community and they should be supported.

“I wish not only his fish and chip shop well, but all fish and chip shops all around the country.”

Mr Bridgen is not the only one to have raised concerns over the future of fish and chip shops.

The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) told the PA news agency they expect one third of fish and chip shops to go out of business due to the cost of electricity and ingredient prices.

The president of the NFFF, Andrew Crook, said: “What has happened in recent months post-pandemic is that everybody else is getting squeezed. So all of a sudden, everybody else is feeling the pinch. And what’s worse is that we’re expecting a third of fish and chip shops to go out of business.”

Fish and Chips
Fish and chips (Yui Mok/PA)

When asked if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could mean an even greater number of shops going out of business, Mr Crook said shops will be in “real dire straits” if Russia places an embargo on its fish exports.

Mr Crook said: “White fish comes from Russia, because they are a very big fishing nation in the Barents Sea. So if we lose that, the price of fish will go significantly higher and this is on top of the current record prices we are seeing. If that happens, we are in real dire straits.”

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