EU told to 'stop messing about on Brexit' by Hartley-Brewer
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Today, the only products that can be sold in imperial units are draught beer or cider by pint; milk in “returnable containers” by pint; and precious metals by troy ounce. However, when pushed by Shipley MP Philip Davies to allow goods to be sold in imperial measurements only, business minister Paul Scully said: “Now we have left the EU we will consider whether further limited exemptions can be applied for other traditional uses.” Warwick Cairns, spokesman for the British Weights & Measures Association, said people should be free to use whatever system of measurement they wanted.
He said: “If you go to the supermarket and you want a pound of bananas or a pound of apples or whatever you should be free to ask for it and to receive it.”
Mr Cairns said modern scales which can switch between imperial and metric measurements are now “completely commonplace”.
He looks forward to a renaissance of champagne being sold in pint bottles once again.
Winston Churchill described an imperial pint of champagne as “an ideal size for a man like me”. The wartime PM said a half bottle was “insufficient to tease my brain” but described a pint of champagne as “enough for two at lunch and one at dinner”.
For campaigners such as Mr Cairns, imperial measures are a direct link with ancient history.
He said: “It’s, I think, a living connection with our past… A lot of these measures come from the Romans who in turn took them from other cultures before them.”
Anyone hoping Brexit will result in the elimination of the metric system in the UK will be disappointed.
Business minister Mr Scully said: “The Government recognises that some people have a preference to use imperial units in their day to day lives.
“At the same time, it recognises that many others are not familiar with imperial units and that the use of metric is a necessity for British businesses to compete in markets around the world.”
The UK Metric Association is pushing for the full adoption of the system, calling on its website for Britain to “complete the conversion to metric as soon as possible”.
It argues that Britain lives with a “hodgepodge of metric and imperial” with people using a “confused mixture of units that is not only wasteful but often not in their interest”.
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