Northern Ireland: UK slammed for 'lack of consent' over Brexit
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The Prime Minister is set to make an announcement that could pave the way for increased use of imperial measurements after the UK’s break with the European Union. According to the Sunday Mirror, Mr Johnson wants to make the announcement on Friday to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The newspaper said Downing Street hopes the move could shore up support in Leave-voting areas after Conservative polling took a hit amid revelations about lockdown-busting parties at No 10.
Reporting on the news, Italian daily Repubblica’s Antonello Guerrera wrote: “Ounces, pints and inches, London plunges back into the past after Brexit.”
The EU weights and measures directive came into force in 2000, with traders legally required to use metric units for sale-by-weight or the measure of fresh produce.
It remains legal to price goods in pounds and ounces but they have to be displayed alongside the price in grammes and kilogrammes.
The move is part of a wider effort in Whitehall to review what EU regulations remain on the UK’s statute books after Brexit.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is understood to be co-ordinating the consultation.
Before a looser interpretation of the EU’s directive was introduced, some shop owners were prosecuted for failing to adhere to the Brussels stipulations, becoming known in the press as the “metric martyrs”.
The UK currently uses a mix of imperial and metric, with speed limits in miles per hour rather than kilometres, and milk and beer bought in pints.
Food packaging in supermarkets is mainly labelled in grammes, while most soft drinks and other liquids on shop shelves are sold in litres.
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Boris Johnson is reportedly looking for ways to appease possible Conservative rebels as the partygate affair threatened to reignite over new rule-breaking claims.
Allegations have surfaced that senior civil servant Sue Gray was told about a potential gathering in the Downing Street flat on the evening of the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday during her inquiry into No 10 and Whitehall Covid lockdown parties but opted not to investigate.
The Cabinet Office said it seriously disputes the version of events as detailed in The Sunday Times but Labour is demanding answers over whether a rule-breach occurred.
It comes as the i newspaper said the Prime Minister this year intends to repeal “dozens” of European Union regulations which remain in UK legislation as he attempts to convince wavering MPs he is still the right person to lead the country following the so-called partygate affair.
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The move is understood to be part of an ongoing review of EU retained law being co-ordinated by minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, which will feed into the Brexit Freedoms Bill.
In his article, Mr Guerrera wrote: “Johnson is in dire straits after the Partygate scandal of forbidden parties in lockdown on Downing Street, polls are at a peak, revolt of conservative insurgent MPs grows who could strike the decisive blow to demand a no-confidence vote against him.
“And then, in a month’s time, there are two major by-elections in West Yorkshire and Devon, Brexiteer zones. Therefore, the prime minister wants to try to recover consensus in this way, relying on nationalist sentiment and his greatest success in politics so far, namely Brexit.
“Will that be enough to lift Boris’s fortunes? For days there have been rumours of a new alcoholic and forbidden party in lockdown in Downing Street. Even this perhaps organised by his wife Carrie Symonds, after the surprise birthday party for which Johnson has already been fined. But the important thing, in any case, is to drink up. Patriotically, of course.”
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