With Brexit still dominating the news, Ronnie Cohen looks at one of the biggest obstacles to completing our transition to the metric system: its perceived link to the European Union.
Ronnie Cohen looks at the measurement muddle in the British Isles during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As our nearest neighbours on the Continent might say, ‘Plus ca change, toujours la meme chose’.
On 15 July 1862, the Select Committee on Weights and Measures of the UK Parliament published a report recommending the adoption of the metric system in the UK. That was 150 years ago. It was also less than forty years after the coming into force of the Weights and Measures Act of 1824, which should have provided Britain and Ireland with ‘correct and uniform’ standards of measures. So what had gone wrong in the intervening years, and what then happened to the Committee’s recommendations?