More reports on: Unilever

Unilever, Tesco settle pricing row as UK pound falls after Brexit

14 October 2016

The UK's biggest retailer Tesco has settled a pricing row with Unilever.

Tesco had stopped online sales of goods produced by the Anglo-Dutch giant following a dispute caused by the fall in the pound since the UK voted to leave the EU.

According to commentators, the standoff between Tesco and Unilever was a first clear sign for consumers of the turbulence unleashed by the Brexit vote and of how it could hit them.

Products including Persil washing powder, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Marmite - a brown yeast-extract, had been off the shelves, on the website of the UK's largest online grocer on Thursday.

Both sides declared that the issue had been resolved on Thursday.

"We're pleased this situation has been resolved to our satisfaction," a Tesco spokesman said. Unilever too said the supply situation in the UK and Ireland had been successfully resolved.

Many investors and company executives were taken by surprise by the 23 June vote to leave the EU, which unleashed the biggest one-day fall in the pound sterling against the dollar.

The fall of the pound, which was down 19 per cent against the US currency and about 16 per cent against the euro had led to supplier-retailer rifts as imported goods become more expensive.

According to conservative MPs and industry insiders, Unilever was ''exploiting consumers'' in the wake of Brexit. One government minister who called Unilever ''reprehensible'', said the company was ''using Brexit as an excuse''.

Meanwhile, David Davis, the Brexit secretary, attempted to quell a growing rebellion in Conservative Party in the House of Commons, saying that parliament must not be allowed to ''thwart'' the UK's exit from the EU.

Davis warned of a "blame Brexit festival'' as he rejected demands from a cross-party coalition of MPs that backbenchers be allowed to vote on the terms of the UK's exit from the EU.

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