Theresa May has told us many a time now that “Brexit means Brexit”.
Some shopkeepers, however, are hoping that Brexit will mean a return to the right to sell produce in pounds and ounces.
EU law dictates that goods must be sold in kilograms and grams, saying that any imperial units can only be used as a “supplementary indication”.
Currently, this law comes under the European Communities Act 1972 as a statutory instrument.
This means that when the UK does formally withdraw from the EU, the Act will be repealed and the statutory instruments will fall.
John Gardner, director of the British Weights and Measures Association (BWMA) explained: “If the Government wants to continue with compulsory metrication, it will have to pass fresh primary legislation, meaning the issue will finally be debated and voted on in Parliament.”
Warwick Cairns, also of the BWMA, continued: “We’re not anti-metric: we’re pro-choice. For over a hundred years, the law allowed us freedom of choice in weights and measures.
“If we wanted to buy and sell in metric measures we were free to do so, and if we wanted to buy and sell in imperial we were equally free to do so.
“The UK Government took away that freedom in 2000, to comply with European law. We want it back.
“We think it’s wrong to make criminals of honest traders for selling bananas by the pound, or petrol by the gallon.
“And it seems that the majority of the UK population feel the same way. According to a YouGov survey published this week, only 39% want to see produce continue to be sold in metric measures, while 45% want to see a return to imperial,” Mr Cairns concluded.
Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, told the Daily Mail “Given that our biggest trading partner by a mile – the United States – is still on imperial measurements, it has always been silly that we have had to just do it in metric.
“It makes sense and is one of the advantages of coming out of the EU.”
A Government spokesman said: “Businesses can already use imperial units alongside metric, or on their own for draught beer and cider, bottled milk and road traffic signs.
“This is national legislation and there has been no change to the law since the referendum result.”