More than a fifth of Britons (22%) have avoided big purchases because uncertainty surrounding Brexit, with overseas holidays suffering the most.

According to research by accountancy firm KPMG, one third of Brits have tightened their belts because of concerns about the UK’s departure from the European Union – and 9% said they have missed out on overseas holidays.

The survey of 2,000 adults found that parents with young children are among the most concerned, with 15% sacrificing foreign holidays.

Almost half of younger people – those aged 18 to 34 – have delayed big purchases such as holidays, cars or a wedding, or put more money into savings.

Those aged 35 and over have focused more on saving ahead of Brexit while those over 55 are the least concerned, with only one in five (19%) changing their spending habits at all.

Linda Ellett, UK head of consumer markets at KPMG UK, said: “These figures bring to light just how much Brexit has impacted people’s everyday lives. We can see this in the way that people are delaying significant purchases such as new cars or foreign holidays.

“When looking at travel and holidays in particular, fears around flight paths and border controls are clearly playing out in people’s actions, and of course the fall in the value of sterling won’t have done much to entice people overseas either.

“For these consumer businesses, the focus has to be on remaining agile so as to ride this wave of uncertainty.

“Those that can achieve this may even benefit from pent-up demand when clarity finally does return to both businesses and consumers.”