Science | September 19, 2021 2:01 pm

After Brexit, Britain Plans a Return to Imperial Measurements

Bad news for metric system fans

Measurements
Weights and measures in Great Britain might be a little different going forwards.
Piret Ilvet/Unsplash

We’re officially living in a post-Brexit world now, but precisely what that means still remains unclear. It’s had a distinctive effect on shipping packages internationally, for instance; it’s also had a significant impact on touring musicians. And now, the latest aftereffect of Brexit has made itself known, and fans of the metric system might want to take a breath before reading on.

According to a new article by Jenny Gross at The New York Times, Great Britain has announced its intention to return to the system of imperial measurements that it’s used in the past. What does that mean, in practice? As Gross writes, shops in the U.K. would be able to sell good measured in pounds and ounces only, rather than showing measurements in the metric system as well.

Use of the metric system had been mandated for Great Britain when it was an E.U. member, though Gross notes that the U.K. was allowed to label goods in both systems. But that seems liable to change.

“We now have the opportunity to do things differently and ensure that Brexit freedoms are used to help businesses and citizens get on and succeed,” said David Frost, the governmental minister handling Brexit.

As the Times article notes, the extent to which this is a going concern for much of the British population isn’t necessarily clear. But it seems likely that another change is on the way — whether or not there’s much demand for it.