In the latest bit of jingoism from the government, it was announced yesterday in a policy paper optimisatically entitled “Brexit opportunities” that the Cabinet Office plans to “review the EU ban on markings and sales in imperial units and legislate in due course”.
Shops are to be allowed to sell products in pounds and ounces again after the government pledged to review a ban on marking and selling products in imperial units as part of post-Brexit changes to EU laws.
Currently, traders are legally obliged to use metric measurements, such as grams, kilograms, millilitres and litres, when selling packaged or loose goods in England, Scotland and Wales.
David Frost, minister of state at the Cabinet Office, said: “Overbearing regulations were often conceived and agreed in Brussels with little consideration of the UK national interest. We now have the opportunity to do things differently.”
Regulations introduced in 1994 requiring goods to be weighed in metric units have “long been a flashpoint for anti-EU campaigners”, said i news.
Pippa Musgrave, who works in ‘trading law compliance and marketing’ according to her Twitter bio, stepped in to correct the government on a few matters.
She wrote a thread slamming the PM’s plan and it is devastating…
“Hello Boris. Weights and Measures Inspector here. Sorry to dispel your latest bit of kite flying. 1. The UK transferring to metric measures had bugger all to do with our EU membership.”
“2. The UK agreed, when it signed the OIML treaty in 1856 to move to a single system of measurement (S.I. units). Metric measures have been lawful in the UK since 1875.”
“3. Are you proposing the UK leaves the OIML treaty?”
“Only Myanmar and the USA currently use imperial measures (US measures are actually slightly different). How does this play with your claim of ‘Global Britain’? “
“5. We have a national shortage of Weights and Measures Inspectors. Are you going to pay for new inspectors to be trained (which currently takes 6 years)?”
“6. Certificates of approval for imperial metrological equipment have long since lapsed. Will you subsidise the industry cost of certification?”
And she wasn’t done there!
“Most imperial local standards and testing equipment have long been retired. Will you subsidise Local Authorities for the cost of this equipment and the creation of new metrological laboratories?”
“A local standard mass comparator costs £30,000. Are you willing to spend many millions of pounds reintroducing such equipment?”
“Imperial measurements have not been taught in schools since the mid 1970s. Indeed, to have been taught imperial measures, consumers are likely now retired? Are you willing to invest many more millions in educating the UK population of imperial measures?”
“Or is this, like your Bridge to Ireland, a nonsense policy only to distract form the appalling way you are running this country?”
“Finally, the USA is a member of NAFTA, where both Canada and Mexico use the metric system. This has meant increased visibility of metric markings on US goods. The US is a signatory of the OIML treaty. Interest in metric is growing in the USA.”