HALF of Britain’s 10,500 fish and chip shops could close due to soaring costs.
As many as 5,000 people face crippling tariffs and soaring ingredient prices, government figures reveal.
The combination means the price of a fish and chips dinner could drop from an average of £8.50 to £11.50.
And hake and other types of white fish could replace the traditional cod and haddock shipped from overseas.
The latest blow came last week when ministers imposed a 35% tariff on all seafood imported from Russia in a bid to hammer President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.
About a third of all whitefish imported into the UK come from Russia, which controls up to 45% of the global supply.
Lancashire chip shop owner Andrew Crook of the National Fish Fryers Federation said his cod supplies had already fallen from £8 to £14 a kilo.
He warned: “These additional tariffs will push thousands of stores over the edge.”
The Sun understands the issue has divided the Cabinet – with Boris Johnson insisting the stand with Ukraine was worth the price.
A government source said: “We all want to punish Putin, but it’s driving people out of business in a cost of living crisis.”
Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said: “Costs will rise – but there is a big opportunity to increase North Sea catches such as haddock and whiting.”