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Drink like it was under Churchill: a pint of wine returns to England

Drink like it was under Churchill: a pint of wine returns to England

“What?” asks the bartender at the Southern English Pub. “A pint of wine?” He shakes his head and fills the marked quart measuring cup with Sauvignon Blanc before pouring the contents into the large wine glass. But soon you won't be able to choose between small (125ml), medium (175ml) and large (250ml) wine glasses. The British government is returning to imperial units of measurement and will return the pint glass to wine producers and retailers in 2024.

Trade Secretary Kevin Hollinryck declared at the end of December that “our Brexit” was “about moments like this.” With the return of the 568ml bottle – incidentally the size of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's favorite champagne bottle – English wineries should be supported and the local economy boosted.

© Photo: APA/AFP/Justin Tallis

Milk in measures and fruits in kilograms

England currently operates with a mixture of imperial and metric units of measurement. While distances are measured in miles and beer and milk are served in pints, retailers have had to advertise fresh produce in kilograms and meters since 2001. Not all retailers have accepted this without a fight. Fruit trader Stephen Thobourg continued to sell his bananas in Sunderland for 34p per pound – and ended up in court. A three-year legal battle ensued, reaching the House of Lords. But Thobourg died of a heart attack at the age of 39 before the conflict could be resolved.

“Old Liberty”

But the current government is not the first to want to stir things up by old standards. (Reminder: there is an election this year.) During the 2019 general election campaign, Boris Johnson declared that measuring in pounds and ounces was an “ancient freedom” and that he wanted to launch a “new era of generosity and tolerance” towards traditional units of measurement.

© Photo: Reuters/Maja Smijkowski

Ahead of the former Queen Elizabeth's platinum jubilee, rumors began circulating that shops would be allowed to advertise in the old units of measurement. “Since the British population likes to use imperial and metric measurements in their daily lives, it is good that the government now has to change the regulations accordingly,” a government Cabinet insider was quoted as saying at the time.

The British prefer to make counters

But the analysis of 100,000 people showed that Britons didn't want that at all: 98.7% of those surveyed wanted a measure – either alone or at least in addition to it. Therefore, the government decided “after careful consideration” not to introduce any new old units of measurement at the present time.

The bartender at the Southern English pub can't imagine that the new pints will be a hit: “Wouldn't they be so expensive that you'd rather just get a bottle?”

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