Brexit promise broken by Sunak as return of imperial measurements scrapped

The Government stopped short of a post-Brexit overhaul of the measurement system, despite Boris Johnson planning to change the rules.

The former Prime Minister said the UK would look at changing its measurement system as part of a wider overhaul of retained EU rules.

But Sunak has decided against pursuing the change.

This came after nearly 99 per cent of people responding to a consultation said they would prefer to stick with the metric system.


EU rules meant imperial measurements - such as pounds and ounces - could only be displayed alongside metric measurements, and they could not be more prominent.

When the proposals were first made by Boris Johnson, critics denounced it as "nostalgia".

Labour MP Angela Eagle claimed ministers were "attempting to weaponise nostalgia for a time few can remember and even fewer wish to return to".

Conservative backbencher Alicia Kearns agreed, saying: "Not one constituent, ever, has asked for this.”

However, the Government has said it will proceed with changes to the sale of still and sparling wine, allowing wine to be sold in pints from the new year.

The Department for Business and Trade said the new 568ml size bottle will be sold alongside 200ml and 500ml measures already available for still and sparkling wine.

Still wine is currently not available for sale in 200ml quantities and sparkling wine cannot be sold in 500ml amounts.

Pint bottles of Champagne were sold in the UK before the country joined the European Common Market. They were on shelves until 1973.

Their production was stopped as they did not comply with EU weights and measures rules.

The Department for Business and Trade said as many as 900 vineyards - producing around 12.2 million bottles of still or sparkling wine a year - are set to benefit from the new post-Brexit "freedoms".


The reforms come as part of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023.

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, said: “Innovation, freedom and choice – that’s what today’s announcement gives to producers and consumers alike.

“Our exit from the EU was all about moments just like this, where we can seize new opportunities and provide a real boost to our great British wineries and further growing the economy.”

WineGB chief executive Nicola Bates said: “We welcome the chance to be able to harmonise still and sparkling bottle sizes and we are happy to raise a glass to the greater choice.”

from GB News

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