Supermarkets warn Boris Johnson return to imperial measures will push up prices and worsen cost of living crisis


‘Reintroducing measurements in pounds and ounces would be a “distraction” from the huge problems facing the country’.

Cost of living crisis

Supermarkets and retailers have warned Boris Johnson that a return to imperial measurements would lead to a hike in prices just as UK households face a cost of living crisis.

The warning comes after Boris Johnson announced that as part of broader plans to reshape UK laws after Brexit, the government would be launching a review to bring back imperial measurements.  

Johnson is keen to bring back measurements in pounds and ounces and is expected to announce the move during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee as part of an attempt to garner support among Tory members and Brexit voters.

The announcement had been ridiculed with some slamming it as a ‘deadcat from the PM’ to ‘distract from Govt corruption’ as well as the findings of the Sue Gray report.

Tory MPs have also criticised the plan, with Tobias Ellwood saying it was far from the “visionary, progressive” thinking that the Conservative Party requires, while Tory MP Alicia Kearns said: “This isn’t a Brexit freedom. It’s nonsense.”

The FT reports that ‘the British Retail Consortium, which represents some of the biggest supermarkets and retail chains in the country, said that reintroducing measurements in pounds and ounces would be a “distraction” from the huge problems facing the country’.

Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, assistant director of food at the BRC warned that introducing new laws to change the way we measure food and drink would ‘add cost and complexity if existing products are required to be relabelled’.

Also commenting on the plans, Joe Harrison, chief executive of the National Market Traders Federation told the Telegraph that the shift would be a “hassle”, adding: “For what purpose? Seems like it would just be hanging on to the past, nostalgia.”

Rather than tackling the cost of living crisis, which has seen Britons struggle with the fastest fall in living standards since records began, the government it seems is more interested in weaponising nostalgia and causing further price rises through reckless policies.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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