Tories slammed for ‘complete and utter nonsense’ over imperial measurement proposal

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The post-Brexit move by Boris Johnson has been seen by many as a “backwards” step and “complete and utter nonsense”, with a supermarket chief warning it will increase costs. Earlier this week a Conservative minister Stephen Parkinson struggled to convert imperial measurements during an interview on Sky News despite Downing Street insisting the system is “universally understood”.

The Arts minister was asked to convert ounces and grams into pounds and litres into pints, but was unable to do so.

The Government announced it will launch a consultation into how to reintroduce and increase the usage of imperial measurements in the UK.

The move has been criticised in a scathing attack from the Labour party as an attempt to “weaponize nostalgia”. 

It is thought to be another aspect of the Prime Minister’s post-Brexit plan to send a message back to the European Union.

In 2000, the EU weights and measures directive made traders adopt metric measurements for the sale of packaged and loose food such as fruit and vegetables.

The rule stated that imperial measures could still be used but the traders also had to list grammes and kilos for many items. 

The consultation which will include businesses, trade groups and consumer groups aims to address this rule to see how it can be changed such as listing fruit and veg in only imperial measurements.

According to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, reviewing the “overbearing EU rules” would restore “common sense” following Brexit. 

The Department said that firms would not be made to change their measurements and insisted that the changes would not lead to increased costs for businesses.

Business Minister Paul Scully said: “While we think of our fruit and veg by the pound, the legacy of EU rules means we legally have to sell them by the kilo.

“Our consultation today will help shops to serve customers in the way their customers want.”

However, Asda chairman and Tory peer, Lord Rose has slammed the Government on Times Radio saying: “It’s complete and utter nonsense and it will add cost to those people who have to put it in place.”

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He added: “I mean, we have got serious problems in the world and we’re now saying let’s go backwards. 

“Does anybody in this country below the age of about 40 know how many ounces there are in a pound?”

It is understood there will not be a formal move away from metric measurements.

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