Businesses helped to put crown symbol back on pint glasses as consultation launched on imperial measurements

Ministers have laid out their plans to revive imperial measurements and put the crown symbol back on pint glasses.

A consultation has been launched to review “overbearing EU rules” will restore “common sense” to the statute book, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

And to mark the Platinum Jubilee, new guidance has been published which will help businesses to apply the crown symbol to pint glasses as a guarantee that the measure is accurate.

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The implementation of an EU directive in 2006 meant that glasses had to display a “CE” marking to show that they were compliant with regulations.

File photo dated 01/12/06 of a man drinking a pint of beerFile photo dated 01/12/06 of a man drinking a pint of beer
File photo dated 01/12/06 of a man drinking a pint of beer

Glasses already bearing the Crown stamp did not have to be removed from circulation, and those with the EU-wide marking were technically allowed to display the Crown too, as long as it did not obscure the new symbol.

Businesses can decide whether to apply the Crown symbol, which would be purely decorative.

The EU weights and measures directive came into force in 2000, with traders legally required to use metric units for sale-by-weight or the measure of fresh produce.

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It remains legal to price goods in pounds and ounces, but they have to be displayed alongside the price in grammes and kilogrammes, except in a limited number of cases.

The 12-week consultation will look at how to change those stipulations, giving traders more freedom to choose how they price fresh items.

It will assist the Government in considering, for example, allowing vegetables to be sold in pounds only, or in pounds with a less prominent metric equivalent.

Business Minister Paul Scully said: “This Platinum Jubilee weekend we’re raising a toast to Her Majesty The Queen’s health and service to this country.

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“It’s a fitting tribute that we’re now helping businesses to restore the Crown symbol to pint glasses.

“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.”

The focus on imperial measurements has attracted criticism with Tory peer and supermarket boss Lord Rose of Monewden arguing that the idea of returning to imperial weights and measures is “complete and utter nonsense” and would “add cost” for those making the transition.

The Asda chairman said on Thursday that the change would only please “a small minority who hark for the past”.

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