Saturday. 26.11.2022
BRITAIN

British government to consult on return of imperial measurements

The consultation is intended to determine the pros and cons of, for example, allowing vegetables to be sold in pounds only

02 June 2022, United Kingdom, London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) poses for a photo with military personnel outside 10 Downing Street, London, on day one of the Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/dpa.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) poses for a photo with military personnel outside 10 Downing Street, London, on day one of the Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/dpa.

The British government has confirmed that a consultation which could pave the way for greater use of imperial measurements in post-Brexit Britain will be launched on Friday.

Plans to review "overbearing EU rules" will restore "common sense" to the statute book, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The EU weights and measures directive came into force in 2000, with traders legally required to use metric units for sale-by-weight or for measuring fresh produce.

It remains legal to price goods in pounds and ounces, but they have to be displayed alongside the price in grammes and kilogrammes, except in a limited number of cases.

The 12-week consultation will look at how to change those stipulations, giving traders more freedom to choose how they price fresh items.

The consultation is intended to determine the pros and cons of, for example, allowing vegetables to be sold in pounds only, or in pounds with a less prominent metric equivalent.

The government announced its intention to review the rules on imperial measurements in September last year, as part of a range of post-Brexit regulatory reforms.

Criticism

Business minister Paul Scully said: "While we think of our fruit and veg by the pound, the legacy of EU rules means we legally have to sell them by the kilo.

"Our consultation today will help shops to serve customers in the way their customers want."

The move has come in for criticism, with Conservative peer and supermarket boss Lord Rose of Monewden arguing that the idea of returning to imperial weights and measures is "complete and utter nonsense" and would "add cost" for those making the transition, while the chairman of supermarket group Asda said on Thursday that the change would only please "a small minority who hark for the past."

British government to consult on return of imperial measurements
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