The EU admitted today (11 September) that it has ditched its plan to force the UK to use the metric measurement system.

The European Commission said it would allow the UK to use pounds, ounces and pints indefinitely, marking a victory for local campaigners who fought to keep the imperial system.

“There is no good reason why these imperial measures should not continue to be used and we’ve decided to enshrine this fact in EU law,” said Günter Verheugen, the EU Commission vice president responsible for enterprise and industry.

The EU had wanted to introduce a single system of measurement across all member states to remove what it had perceived to be barriers to trade.

The UK had been scheduled to set a date for phasing out the imperial measurements within three years.

However, the EU admitted that experience had showed that the use of the pint, mile, yard and ounce as units of measurement was local, “without any impact to the single market and not any impediment to cross-border trade”.