Britons split over potential return of imperial measures and ‘quite happy using both’

Mark Francois: using Imperial system is about 'freedom of choice'

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to revoke EU laws requiring metric units to be used and allow shops to sell products in pounds and ounces. The proposals have been praised as a “common sense” move by Tory MPs as the party looks to utilise newfound Brexit freedoms.

Britain currently uses a mix of imperial and metric units at present with speed measured in miles per hour and milk and beer both bought in pints.

Goods sold in Europe have been required to display metric weights and measurements and since 2000 traders have been legally required to use metric units for fresh produce.

A Government source said: “We Brits measure our walks in miles and our beer and milk by the pint. And nobody knows what a 4.5kg baby looks like, but we all know a 10-pounder is a whopper.

“It’s time we held our heads high about our long history of traditional measures.

“And what better way to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee than restoring the crown emblem back onto the side of pint glasses so that we can toast her health and service to this country.”

A Government source said the proposals will consider the unlikely scrapping of the metric system and a complete transition to imperial measures.

However, supermarket chain Asda has criticised the plan as it would make groceries more expensive.

Asda chairman Lord Rose of Monewden said the change would only please “a small minority who hark for the past”. 

He added that it would also “add cost” for shops having to make the changes.

In response to the proposals, readers were asked their opinions on whether imperial measures should be brought back.

In a poll that ran from 10am on Monday, May 30, to midday on Tuesday, May 7, asked: “Do you want to bring back pounds and ounces and dump kg?”

A total of 6,339 people cast their votes and readers were divided.

Some 56 percent (3,551 people) said “yes”, imperial measurements should be brought back while 43 percent (2,719 people) said “no”, metric measurements should stay.

Just one percent (72 people) said they did not know either way.

Readers took part in a lively debate with hundreds of comments left below the accompanying article.

One reader, username Millar, said: “Pounds and ounces are a wonderful thing to bring back.”

Username wat uwant wrote: “Too right and bring back feet and inches.”

And username ycjarman27 said: “Metric never fully took over, a litre of petrol and how many miles to the gallon, A pint of milk, my height is still feet and inches.”

Others were in favour of keeping metric units like username muso who commented: “It would be madness to abandon metric weights. Younger generations have grown up with metric.”

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Some commented that metric and imperial units have been working alongside each other successfully.

Username Radiotimes said: “Why can’t we just leave things as they are, a mixture of both? Seems to work ok.”

Username 3downnotout wrote: “Quite happy using both as each are relevant and will remain relevant.”

And username ScrapBBC said: “Use both. Let the market decide which system the customer opts for at point of sale.”

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