Europe takes measures to protect Ireland's pint


The nation's drinkers breathed a sigh of relief this morning after news emerged from the European Parliament that Ireland can keep pouring pints indefinitely.

The parliament officially adopted a proposal this morning which enables Ireland and the UK to continue to use both metric and other measurements such as pounds and ounces if desired.

The ruling covers pints of milk and beer and cider on draught and also approves the use of miles for speed indications, road distances and signs in the UK.

Although Ireland has already switched to kilometres on the State's road network, it has steadfastly refused to give up the pint.

The UK has previously committed to going metric, but since 1980 been granted several extensions to the transitional period.

Today's agreement removes the need for any transitional periods and also allows Ireland to retain the pint for good.

“This is good news for people in Ireland and the UK as current practices will remain in place, said EU enterprise and industry commissioner Günter Verheugen.

"Today's agreement will also ensure that imperial measurements can be indicated alongside metric – a measure that will lower costs for industry by allowing the same labelling for all their exports, whether in the EU or elsewhere in the world."