Back to the pound and ounce: the new units of measurement in the UK

pounds and ounces
Great Britain breaks away from EU rules – and reintroduces old units of measurement

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

© Ben Birchal / Press Association / DPA

Britain’s exit from the European Union now has other very specific consequences for citizens of the United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the old units of measurement, the pound and ounce, would be reintroduced.

Old Unit of Measurement, New Unit of Measurement: As a result of Brexit, Great Britain repealed many EU regulations, thus smoothing the return to pound and ounce labeling of goods. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government announced it would reintroduce the royal system of weights and measures, as the newspaper “The Times” reported on 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. While Brexit supporters were a thorn in the side of the ban, they are now celebrating the return of English traditions.

Now the royal crown is also allowed to be printed on pint glasses. As the “crown stamp”, the emblem indicated the true standard size of ships for centuries. European Union regulations were introduced in 2007, which the then EU member Great Britain had to follow, replacing the crown with the same CE mark.

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Great Britain seeks to distance itself from the European Union with old units of measurement

The return of the old names and symbols is seen as a protest move to separate itself from the European Union. Rigorous EU rules ignoring British traditions were an important argument for Brexit supporters in the emotional debate about leaving the EU.

Johnson had announced that Britain would regain its sovereignty with Brexit. Critics of the measure emphasize that the return to the old system is likely to cause much confusion, as almost all people under 40 are no longer used to counting in pounds and ounces. On the other hand, distances were always given in miles instead of kilometers, even in European Union times.


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