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The announcement, which is set to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee on Friday, seems to have left opinion divided – perhaps aptly, for those never to have tested their arithmetic on anything other than multiples of ten.
Technology Minister Chris Philp heralded it as bringing back “a bit of our national culture and heritage”, while Labour MP Angela Eagle said it served only to “weaponise nostalgia”.
While metric units currently must be the measure shown most dominantly on most goods, the law still allows for its imperial equivalent to be shown alongside. There is already an exception in place for milk, beer and cider – the items most commonly sold in pints – which do not need to be referred to as 568ml or such.
In all likelihood, it seems logical that displaying both measurements would continue to be the case even if traders were allowed to do away with metric. Given that metric started to be introduced in 1995, there are generations of people to whom much of the imperial system will mean nought (or zero).
Unless there is a clamour to back one of the systems exclusively, the end result may simply be six of one, and half a dozen of the other.
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