Back to top
News In Focus

Reprieve for imperial weights

12 September 2007

The UK will be able to continue legally using imperial measures such as pounds and ounces.

The European Commission had originally planned for metric measurements to replace imperial ones, bringing the UK in line with the rest of Europe, with the old weights and measures being phased out over a period. The deadline had been repeatedly extended, with the most recent one given being 2010.

However, the strength of support for imperial measures proved overwhelming and European Union commissioners have ruled that Britain can continue to use imperial measures, alongside metric rather than phasing them out completely.

Europe's Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said there would now never be a requirement to drop imperial measurements. He added that he wanted to end what had been a bitter and in his view completely pointless battle.