Returning to imperial units could see food prices rise, BRC warns

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned that returning to imperial measures could drive up food prices.

The warning comes as ministers are preparing to consult on how to further integrate imperial measurements in Britain post-Brexit – swapping out metric units.

However, the BRC which represents supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons has issued a warning over the plan which is due to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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“Supermarkets are focusing on delivering the best value for their customers in the face of intense inflationary pressures,” BRC assistant director of food Andrea Martinez-Inchausti said.

“Introducing new laws to change the way we measure food and drink would both distract from this vital task, and add cost and complexity if existing products are required to be relabelled.”

The move to return to imperial measurements comes after the prime minister’s ‘Partygate’ scandal, and would reportedly appeal to Brexiter voters in battleground seats that the Conservatives are in danger of losing.

Since 1995 goods sold in Europe have had to display metric weights and measurements.

From 2000, traders under the EU have had to legally use metric units for sale by weight or measure for fresh produce – which has been a recurring issue for Eurosceptics.

Boris Johnson has pledged the return of imperial units since his 2019 general election claiming pounds and ounces were an “ancient liberty” and that there ought to be a “new era of generosity and tolerance”.

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