§ Mr. Michael Marshall
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what steps the Government are taking to ensure that they will be able to 354W fulfil their obligation to implement metrication by 1978.
§ Mr. John Fraser
Under the Treaty of Accession the United Kingdom accepted an obligation in 1972 to adopt the International System of Units (SI system) for most purposes and to cease the use of imperial units. Our obligations are, first, to authorise the use of SI units by April 1978 and, secondly, to phase out the use of imperial units. The timetable for this phasing out has not yet been finally settled, but under current proposals put forward by the EEC Commission some imperial units would cease to be authorised at the end of 1977, some at the end of 1979, and the future of the remainder would be reviewed before the end of 1979. Details were given by my predecessor, in his reply of 26th March to my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing)—[Vol. 908, c. 317–8].
I envisage that the authorisation of the use of SI units will be dealt with in regulations made under Section 2(2) of the European Communities Act and that legal cut-off dates for the use of imperial units will be dealt with principally under the powers being sought under the Weights and Measures Etc. Bill.