What are imperial measurements? Boris Johnson’s plan explained, imperial meaning - will they return to the UK?

Downing Street hope that the move could shore up support in Leave-voting areas, according to reports

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Britain could see an increase in the use of imperial measurements under new plans reportedly set to be unveiled by Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement on Friday (3 June) - to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee - that shops will be able to sell goods in pounds and ounces, according to the Sunday Mirror.

Here we take a look at Mr Johnson’s plans, what the current rules are and why this change is set to be introduced.

What is Boris Johnson’s imperial measurements plan?

The UK Government is set to open a consultation into how imperial measurements can be further incorporated into Britain, the Press Association reports.

However, this will not lead to a move away from the metric system, according to reports.

The consultation, which is being co-ordinated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will aim to look at where it makes sense to switch to imperial measurements - such as feet and yards and pints and gallons.

Traders are then likely to be able to choose which they use.

What are the current rules around measurements?

The UK currently uses a mix of imperial and metric measurements.

Speed limits are in miles per hour rather than kilometres, and milk and beer bought in pints.

However, supermarket food packaging is mainly grammes, while most soft drinks and other liquids on shop shelves are sold in litres.

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

Some shop owners were initially prosecuted for failing to adhere to the new rules, which led to them being labelled as “metric martyrs” by the press.

A looser interpretation of the directive was later introduced.

It remains legal to price goods in pounds and ounces but they have to be displayed alongside the price in grammes and kilogrammes.

Why is Boris Johnson set to make this change?

The Sunday Mirror claims that Downing Street hopes this move could shore up support in Leave-voting areas.

It comes after Conservative polling took a hit after the revelations about the law-breaking parties held in Number 10 and Whitehall during the pandemic.

Imperial measurements meaning

The imperial measurement system includes pounds, ounces, feet, pints, yards and miles.

The system replaced the Winchester Standards, which was first adopted in Britain in the sixteenth century.

It came into effect across the British Empire in 1826. However, most of these nations later adopted the metric system.

The metric system includes measurements including centimetres, metres, kilometres, grammes, kilogrammes, millilitres and litres.