Saturday 11 October 2008

EU: UK and Ireland can keep the mile, the pint, and the troy ounce

In a common possition regarding the measurements within the EU, the Council of the European Union agrees that the United Kingdom and Ireland may forever continue to use the "mile", the "pint", and the "troy ounce".

In the first paragraph of the text (dated 09 October 2008) we can read:
Directive 80/181/EEC1 requires the United Kingdom and Ireland to fix a date for ending the exemptions, where they are still being applied, in respect of the units of measurement known as "pint" for milk in returnable bottles and beer and cider on draught, "mile" for road signs and speed indications, and "troy ounce" for transactions in precious metals. However, experience has shown that, given the local character of those exemptions and the limited number of products concerned, maintaining the exemptions would not result in a non-tariff barrier to trade and, as a consequence, there is no longer a need to put an end to those exemptions.
So don't be afraid, British friends, you can remain as you are, you can measure life as you'd like it to be measured. You may remain an exeption and you may keep your exemptions!

Only the acre will disappear forever (para. 10):
Since the acre is no longer in use for land registration purposes in the United Kingdom and Ireland, there is no longer any need to provide for an exemption in that respect.
What a pitty!

Let's remember it by reminding everyone what it was worth: 1 ac = 4 047 m2.

One minute of silence...

For all the non-British and non-Irish within the Union, it is still worth to read the document, especially if you wanted to know how exactly to measure 1 Kelvin. You would like to have hint what you need to know for that...? Okay:
0,000 155 76 mole of 2H per mole of 1H, 0,000 379 9 mole of 17O per mole of 16O and 0,002 005 2 mole of 18O per mole of 16O
Interested? Then have a look at this precious document!


Jon Worth said...

I've been known to tell people my height in metres (rather than feet) and weight in kilos (rather than stone) in the UK just to annoy people... But even despite that I'm glad the Council has taken this line. Providing grammes, litres etc. are also stipulated when people are buying things then there's no need to be concerned. It's a generational question after all - anyone born after 1980 in the UK grew up with metric, so the use of these arcane measurements will die out eventually.