We are going back to yards and ounces. Prime Minister wants to get rid of the European measurement system and Brexit sentiment behind it. That’s ridiculous in many ways, but why not?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants the British to measure again in miles, pints and pounds. The UK now officially still uses the European metric system with kilograms and meters, but Johnson wants to get rid of that. He considers the English Imperial Standard System for sizes an ‘old freedom’.
British media write that next Friday – during the festivities for the seventy – year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth-Johnson will reintroduce the old system of measurement. He would do so to accommodate Brexit voters, who are currently in danger of losing his party.
The decision seems especially symbolic. The UK officially used the metric system since 2000, as it was part of the European Union. On goods in stores, kilograms, grams or liters were mandatory. In practice, British sizes were also often listed as an addition. Now those obligations to use metric measures lapse.
Britain has long been in the process of rolling back some EU obligations. During his 2019 election campaign, Johnson promised to abolish the metric system. In 2020, politics decided that the old-fashioned blue passport should come back again. Since then, all newly issued passports have a blue cover again. During the Brexit, the passport colour had become a symbol of British independence.
The Mirror writes on its website that many English people under 40 will find it difficult with the English Imperial Standard System. After all, they have grown up with the European sizes and will continue to convert for a while.
But how was that again? The Imperial Standard System dates from the beginning of the 19th century and was introduced to measure with the same measures throughout the British Empire. It is based on the yard, gallon and pound standards for length, content and weight. These are further subdivided into foot, pint and ounce.
Converted, a yard is about 0.9 meters. And an English gallon is equal to almost 4.55 litres. That’s 8 pints. Further, a British pound is as much as 0.45 kilograms, and an ounce is about 28 grams.
For Steve Keppe (38), owner of the Pub and Churchill’s in Made in Brabant, the conversion will not be a problem. He grew up with kilos and litres but knows that the English never really moved away from the old system.
“The fish and sausages I get in here are in a package of exactly one English pound or ounce. The glasses of beer are exactly a pint, there was only a line with millilitres on them.”
Nor does he think that the introduction of the old measuring system will have major consequences.
“Brexit caused a lot of delivery problems, but that will happen now. I think most products also have metric sizes. They have to deal with Europe.”