Tuesday 29 November 2016 3:43 pm

This economist thinks orange prices are about to go up because of the EU

The EU has levied hiked taxes by five times on oranges in a move seemingly designed to protect Spanish orange farmers.

The bloc increased eight tariffs on oranges imported from countries outside the EU last month, according to research by website EU tariffs.

Read more: Wetherspoon's boss hits out at "elite groups" trying to stop Brexit

The hike came after Spanish farmers objected to tariffs on South African oranges being lifted, and asked the European Commission to take action.

The EU's customs union has over 12,000 tariffs on goods. Dan Lewis of the Economic Policy Centre said the price for these tariffs is ultimately "collected on the high street" in the form of higher prices.

Read more: We spent more, get over it! Leave campaign wins 52% of referendum donations

Lewis added:

In a liberal democracy, consumers should come first. But in this case, it looks like producers do and consumers weren't even an afterthought.

Indeed, these increased tariffs on oranges are bitter lemons to consumers.

Norway is in the European Economic Area and contributes to the EU budget but is outside the customs union. It has around 1,000 tariffs. Lewis said that the issue of the customs union now "falls outside Brexit" but "shows the ongoing cost, rising bureaucracy and unpredictability of belonging to the customs union".

Tariffs could "potentially change every day" within the EU, he said, and although some go up, and some go down, the overall number of tariffs has been steadily growing.