HC Deb 17 May 1976 vol 911 c380W
Mr. Cartwright

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether she is taking any steps to seek a modification of the obligation in the EEC Treaty of Accession that imperial units of measurement shall disappear at the end of 1979.

Mr. John Fraser

Yes. The current draft amending Directive R/3070/75 reflects our view that it is too early to enter a firm commitment on the future of those imperial units in everyday use.

Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will seek amendments to the EEC draft Directive R /3070/75 to enable everyday sales of commodities to continue in Imperial measures and continue to be protected by consumer protection legislation.

Mr. John Fraser

The draft directive envisages that the future of most units used in everyday sales will be reviewed in 1979 and to that extent mitigates the situation brought about by the previous Government when they negotiated the Treaty of Accession. Under the Treaty all imperial units of measurement were planned to disappear by the end of 1979. I am considering, in the context of further consultations about the Weights and Measures &c., Bill, what amendments or clarifications should be sought to the draft directive to enable the United Kingdom to achieve a change to a metric system with the least inconvenience and greatest degree of protection for consumers. Consumer protection legislation will continue whatever units are in use.