The proposals made by health secretary Matt Hancock last week revealed that 93% of consultation respondents agreed businesses should be prohibited from selling the drinks to children.

Retailer Jason Birks, of Moscis in Durham, welcomed the decision, but said: “It’s another thing to police.”

He told betterRetailing: “As a responsible retailer, I have been imposing a voluntary ban for the past 10 years. When it’s voluntary, it doesn’t matter if you make an honest error, but now we might be punished for mistakes. Most ID systems are geared up to 18-year-olds, so this might be harder to police.”

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