FISH and chip shop owners say more restaurants will close and prices will rise unless they get urgent government support.

Reports last month revealed that some 5,000 shops could close and that prices in many parts are now up by 35 per cent.

Takeaways and restaurants rely on Ukraine for sunflower oil and Russia for white fish.

But the war has led to a shortage of supplies and the price of the dwindling levels which are available is soaring.

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Many fish and chip shops in Winchester are feeling the crunch, with Catch Fish and Chips owner, Mefut Turk losing customers after putting his prices up.

He said: "Everything is double the price now. Last year a case of fish was £130 and now it's £230. Same as oil. We're quite affected and we're losing customers because they think it's so expensive.

"We've had to cover wages, electricity, tax and produce. We're a family business and we're quite worried. There's not much we can do. I just hope the price doesn't increase any more."

In a recent interview with GB News, Stuart Devine from the National Federation of Fish Fryers (NFFF) said: “We've had a very difficult time.

"We were hit hard with Covid and Brexit has had an impact on us too. Now of course we've got the war in Ukraine. Although we fully support the government's actions, we are crying out to the government for help."

It comes as UK inflation hits 40 year high of 9.4 per cent and 'could hit 12 per cent by October, according to the ONS, with the price of housing, water, electricity, gas and fuels increasing by 19.6 per cent since June 2021.

Bona Fides owner Sayem Kabir opened his new fish and chip shop June, 2022 and feels worried for the future.

He said: "I'm quite new to the trade but I've heard a lot about it. I think the fear is, a lot of businesses are too scared to put their prices up because they're worried their customers will go elsewhere.

"It's slightly worrying but what a lot of businesses do, is charge a bit more per item, but it's how you can justify it with the service. We're doing loaded fish and chips, sauce options and garnish. It's thinking outside the box and coming up with other strategies."

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