Back to Pounds and Ounces: New UK Units of Measure

Pound and ounce
Great Britain is abandoning EU regulations – and reintroducing old units of measurement

The British coat of arms can now be printed on pint mugs again. The UK government has announced that it will restore the imperial system of weights and measures

© Ben Birchall / Press Association / DPA

Brexit now has other very specific consequences for UK citizens: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the old units of measurement, the pound and the ounce, will be reintroduced.

Old unit of measure, new unit of measure: As a result of Brexit, Great Britain abolished many EU regulations, thus facilitating a return to classifying goods in pounds and ounces. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has announced it will restore the Imperial System of Weights and Measures, The Times reported Friday. This means that in the future shops will only be able to label their goods in pounds and ounces – under EU rules, this was only allowed if the weight was also specified in kilograms. Backers of Brexit were a thorn in the side of the ban, and they are now celebrating a return to English tradition.

The royal crown is now also allowed to be printed on pint mugs. As the ‘Seal of the Crown’, the symbol has denoted the correct standard size of utensils for centuries. EU rules introduced in 2007, which then-EU member Great Britain had to abide by, replaced the crown with the unified CE mark.

Great Britain wants to distinguish itself from the European Union by the old units of measurement

A return to the old names and symbols is an illustrative step to further differentiate itself from the European Union. Strict EU rules that ignore British tradition have been an important argument for Brexit supporters in the emotional debate over leaving the European Union.

Johnson had announced that Britain would regain its sovereignty with Britain’s exit from the European Union. Critics of this measure maintain that a return to the old system is likely to cause great confusion, as almost all people under the age of 40 are no longer accustomed to calculating in pounds and ounces. On the other hand, distances were always given in miles rather than kilometres, even in times of the European Union.

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