The weights and measures acts of 1985 and 2001 placed a limit (now expired) of December 31st 2009 for the country to discontinue the practice of dual-labelling items in imperial units alongside the metric units. This was already a limit that had been moved several times, and it is high time the limit actually be enacted and enforced and that we finally see the last of the old-fashioned imperial measures in our shops.
Unfortunately, our previous government saw fit, not only to revoke these provisions, but to declare that supplementary indications may continue indefinately!
It is the 21st century – in fact we're 10% of the way through the 21st century! This country declared that it was in our interest to switch to metric measures to the benefit of our science, engineering and trade back in —- 1896!
We should revoke those spineless clauses in the 2009 regulations nos. 3045 and 3046 to reinstate a cut-off point for supplementary indications, and make it as soon as possible since until that capitulation by Nu Labour, we would by now already be rid of them. So maybe please reset the cut-off to December 31st 2011 and this time STICK BY IT!
Why does this idea matter?
The country has been officially metric since 1995 and has been declaring that "it would be a good idea to go metric" since the end of the nineteenth century!
Regulations 3045 and 3046 are a real setback to the education of our children who therefore get exposed to contradictory sets of weights and measures that then causes them to question what they learn at school, and ultimately confuses and damages their education. As a country, we need that education to be the best they can get so that they get out and fly the flag for Britain in the world at large when they are older. They should be contenders for the best jobs in international science, engineering, trade and industry.
The interesting point to regulations 3045 and 3046 is found in point 8.2 of the explanatory notes ( http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/em/uksiem_20093045_en.pdf ) where it states "[…] but that consumers were split with a small majority (including from the UK) favouring metric only."
So, basically, it seems that "consumers" (that's you and me) are actually in favour of metric only, even in Britain. So our late lamented government bulldozed this legislation in at the last minute against the wishes of the public consultation.
Part of the "explanatory notes" cited above claims that losing supplemantary indications would somehow damage trade with the USA, but actually stuff for the USA almost certainly has to be packed differently anyway, and also over 50% of our trade is with the E.U and the rest is for "the rest of the world (including the USA)". Trade with the whole USA is reckoned to be similar to the size of our trade with Germany alone. No matter what we do in our domestic market, damage to trade with the USA is unlikey to be a side-effect.
Meanwhile, the continuation of supplementary indications keeps polluting the ability of our youngsters to get free of the mediaeval and to become players in the 21st century.
Please revoke this indefinate derogation for supplementary indications, and please, before any more children's futures are damaged, get rid of them ASAP.