Anti-imperial petition tops 1600 signatures

A popular anti-imperial petition on the official parliamentary petitions website has attracted a large number of signatures and is still growing fast. It opposes the Government’s recent imperial-only measurements proposals for trade.

Weights and measures petitions do not normally get many signatures. This applies to those in support of the imperial system as well as those in support of the metric system. Some get a handful, some gain a few dozen signatures and only a very few get a number of signatures in triple digits – even then they only run into the low hundreds. For this reason, UKMA has normally ignored petitions on metrication because they normally expose a lack of popular interest.

There is now one anti-imperial petition on the official parliamentary petitions website that has gained almost 1700 signatures. UKMA has made an exception for this one because it has attracted a large number of signatures and is growing fast. It has the potential to get several thousand signatures over the next few weeks and make an impact on decision-makers by showing how much opposition there is to the Government’s imperial-only measurements proposals.

This petition was created by a young person to oppose the Government’s proposals to remove the requirement for traders to show the metric units alongside the imperial ones. The title of the petition is “Do not legislate for imperial-only measurements on goods”. It makes the points about the limited international use of the imperial system today, the disconnection of the Government’s imperial-only measurement proposals with young people’s metric education and the numerous factors in the imperial system. Here is the case it makes against the Government’s proposals, which is worth quoting in full:

“We want the government to u-turn on its proposal to review the EU ban on markings and sales in imperial units and its proposal to legislate on this. Just 3 other countries solely use the imperial system and the UK would be an outlier should it switch to it.

As part of the review, the Government said it would legislate “in due course” to remove the ban on imperial-only markings carried over from the EU. We can’t have imperial-only markings. Young people like me have been raised to use the metric system and very few, if any, understand the imperial system.

The imperial system is hard to understand where increasing measurements have little in common, such as 12 inches in a feet to 1680 feet in a mile. The metric system makes much more sense.”

If these proposals go ahead, many young consumers will be confronted with measurements they don’t understand and did not learn at school. For decades, the young have been taught the metric system in school but are forced to adjust to the unfamiliar imperial system outside the school gates. The Government’s legalisation of imperial-only pricing will only make this situation worse.

When I signed this petition two days ago, it had approximately 1250 signatures. Since then, it has attracted over 400 extra signatures. This has been, by far, the largest number of signatures for a weights and measures petition I have seen and is still growing fast. The more signatures it gets, the better the chances of persuading the Government to drop their imperial-only measurement proposals.

Sign this petition, spread the word and persuade others to sign it too. You can find the petition at the following link:

5 thoughts on “Anti-imperial petition tops 1600 signatures”

  1. Thanks, Ronnie. I’ve signed. Numbers increasing – now up to 2773. It will take 10 000 to get a government response – could reach that number. 100 000 for a debate – less likely – but in any case the government is expected to consider the consultation document (which I have responded to) after the deadline of August. Let us hope this petition is more successful than previous ones.

    Denis McMahon


  2. The BBC web site is a strange beast. It is reporting on the heat wave in Europe but follows the high temperatures in Celsius with the same temps in Fahrenheit (in parentheses). However, the video at the bottom of the article gives all of the high temperatures in Celsius only. So, if the television broadcast uses only Celsius, why not the text of the article?

    Very strange!


  3. @Denis McMahon,
    That government response is just a stock reply. In this case it will simply re-state the government intent to continue business as usual.
    We have to keep trying, but they will do whatever they want to do. The harder their battle with the public, the more they will enjoy turning the clocks back.


  4. I’ve signed it, although it might not get through, hopefully the government will understand that imperial isn’t as popular as it or the media thinks..


  5. This whole Imperial revival circus is just another distraction to try and save Johnson’s hide. If the by-election results are really bad, maybe the 1922 committee will change the rules and allow another confidence vote. At that point the UK will likely get stuck with Liz Truss. Jump from the frying pan into the fire? We’ll see, eh?


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