The British Government will not reintroduce the old imperial measures system

The British government announced on Wednesday that it will not reinstate the imperial system of units of measurement (ounces, inches, pounds, etc.), which was promoted by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a symbol of the benefits of Brexit.

The Ministry of Commerce decided that the quantities of products sold in the country must always appear on the packaging in kilograms or liters according to the metric system.

Quantities may appear in ounces, inches, or pounds but are less clear.

As a first stage, from 2024, it will be possible to buy a “pint” of wine or sparkling wine (568 ml in the metric system) in bars, restaurants or supermarkets.

After leaving the European Union, whose rules impose the metric system in all member states, the Conservative government, then led by Boris Johnson, indicated that it wanted to change British law to restore imperial units, thus embodying the freedom recovered from the United Kingdom. .

However, after widespread consultation in 2022, nearly 99% of participants stated that they wanted to maintain the validity of the metric system.

The government said in a statement: “While the government is not changing the law, new guidance will be published to promote awareness of existing freedoms that allow imperial units to be displayed alongside their clearer metric equivalents.”

He also announced that a “wider review” of measurement standards is underway “in line with the government’s commitment to identifying reform opportunities presented by Brexit”.

After Britain's exit from the European Union and the end of the transition period at the end of 2020, the United Kingdom retained thousands of European regulatory texts, but the Conservative government began removing provisions that it considered conflicting with British interests.

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By mid-2023, more than 1,000 EU laws had been repealed or amended, according to Trade Minister Kemi Badenoch, but facing legal “risks”, the Conservatives reviewed their ambitions and decided to back away from attempts to repeal European rules.

(Information from Agence France-Presse)

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