As part of a review of rules inherited from the European Union, the British government wants to abandon the metric system in shops and supermarkets in favor of imperial units.
Make way for ounces and pounds, not more grams and kilos. Now with Brexit, the British government this week announced its intention to revise thousands of European rules, reports BBC. The return to imperial units began with the abandonment of the metric system.
According to EU law, traders are obliged to measure and display the weight of their products in grams and kilograms at their stalls. The use of the ounce (1 ounce = 28 g) or the pound (1 pound = 454 g) for the British remained, but only on condition that the metric measurement was uniformly visible to the consumer.
A regulation has long been considered unacceptable by some traders across the channel. In 2001, one of them was convicted of selling bananas using only royal measures. Shortly afterwards, the Union of “Martyrs of the Matriculation System” was created.
Opposition slams “disconnected” government
The restoration of the imperial system to the detriment of the metric system was already mentioned in an interview by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. daily mail In 2019: “We will bring back this old freedom. I see no reason why people should be prosecuted (just for using the royal system),” he said.
The UK government’s announcement this week nonetheless sparked frustration from the Labor opposition, which accused it of being ‘out of touch’ with voters’ priorities as the UK has faced shortages for several weeks, comparing Labour. A lot of goods in the U.S., as well as a rebound in inflation to levels not seen in nine years.
“How disconnected are you in stores worrying more about metric measurements than whether workers can consume (…) and put food on the table?” Rainer, deputy leader of the Labor Party.
Another opposition politician, Jess Phillips, echoed this by assuring that the subject of the measures was far from the main concerns of the British: “No one ever raised the issue with me as a Member of Parliament. Never!” She got blurry. For his part, the MP for the Scottish independence party SNP, Stephen Flynn, called on the government to focus on providing “food on the shelves” as a priority.
“Capitalize on the freedoms offered by Brexit”
Downing Street defended itself from opposition attacks on Friday, saying “pounds and ounces are easy to understand and are already widely used units of measurement.” A spokesman for the prime minister further recalled that the abandonment of the metric system was “only a small part of a larger government campaign aimed at establishing the right regulatory environment to support jobs and growth in state-United”.
Brexit minister David Frost himself said the move towards the royal system would be part of wider changes aimed at “capitalizing on the freedoms afforded by Brexit”.
“Authoritarian rules have often been designed and approved in Brussels with little regard for the British national interest. We now have the opportunity to do things differently and ensure that Brexit freedoms are used to help businesses and citizens succeed. To help happen,” he said.
The huge British campaign to revise European regulations actually entails changes to laws in areas as diverse as clinical trials, artificial intelligence and data processing. This should again allow the printing of the Crown Seal on beer pints instead of the European “EU” marking.
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