A fifth of Brits (21%) expect their spending levels to increase once the UK cuts ties with Brussels, a survey by the Institute of Customer Service has revealed.

The proportion of people expecting to spend more post-Brexit has doubled compared with just six months ago, when the figure was only 10%.

Despite these fears, consumers said they would choose to pay an average of 17% more for outstanding customer service levels.

This would equate to £14bn additional income per year for supermarkets, said the report. It made the prediction using the most recent ONS household expenditure figures based on the £56.80 per week current average spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks and the number of UK households.

There were demographic differences in willingness to spend on service. Consumers from the South East would spend an average of 21% more to guarantee service levels, whereas those from the North averaged 15%. The age range of 18 to 34 year olds were also more likely to spend on service, being willing to pay an average of 23% more.

On the back of these figures, the Institute of Customer Service has urged British businesses to place customers at the centre of their post-Brexit strategy.

“We know that an increasing proportion of people are willing to pay more for better service and these new statistics are testament to that. Customer experience will be everything in the post-Brexit economy,” said Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service.

“Our research finds that ‘recommendation from others’ and buying from ‘a trusted brand’ both remain crucial factors influencing consumer spend, meaning that businesses who invest in these areas will get the best returns, both now and when Britain formally departs from the EU.”