How well do you remember the imperial system? Take our quiz to find out

·1-min read
Steven Thoburn was prosecuted for breaking EU law
Steven Thoburn was prosecuted for breaking EU law

There are many things that divide us in modern Britain. Brexiteers vs Remainers; the Covid-cautious vs anti-maskers; oat milk preachers vs dairy drinkers. But such fleeting divisions are surely trumped by one that irks people more than the rest: metric vs imperial.

Take this common grocery store encounter. “I’ll have a pound of apples,” says Pete, 71, only to be met with a baffled look by the 21-year-old cashier who has more experience in measuring TikTok metrics than tons. And let's not forget the 2001 case, when 'Metric Martyr' Steven Thoburn, a greengrocer from Sunderland was convicted of breaching EU rules banning the sale of fruit and vegetables in pounds and ounces.

If that raises your hackles, hope is on the horizon. In a newly released list of “Brexit opportunities”, ministers have said that it will become legal for market stalls, shops and supermarkets to sell their goods using only Britain’s traditional weighing system. Pubs will also be allowed to sell pints in glasses printed with the crown stamp – something that was prohibited by EU directives.

It’s been a hard-fought battle for Brexiteers. In 2019, Boris Johnson pledged to bring back the “ancient liberty” of imperial measurements, saying: “People understand what a pound of apples is. There will be an era of generosity and tolerance towards traditional measurements.”

For those keen to free us from the regulatory shackles of the EU, it’s a victory sweeter than an pound of Thoburn’s finest peaches. But how up to scratch are your imperial measurements - and are you familiar with some of the more obscure units? Take our quiz to find out...

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