Brexit and metric martyrs


Sir, – According to John Eoin Douglas, the reason many people voted to leave the European Union was to get rid of compulsory metrication (June 21st). This he describes as a “noble aim” and an implied positive outcome of Brexit. While it may be true that many people did vote thus, it really makes one wonder.

The Ordnance Survey of Great Britain began metrication in the 1930s and the Board of Trade, on behalf of the UK government, started a 10-year metrication programme in 1965. These initiatives occurred well before the UK joined the Common Market. When the UK, Ireland and Denmark acceded to membership in 1973, they accepted metrication and had five years to implement it. In 1975, the UK voted by a two-to-one majority in a referendum to remain in the EEC and with it, presumably, to accept metrication. It should not go unnoticed that, while the US has remained outside the metrication tent, practically all the UK’s other non-EU trading partners in the Commonwealth and globally have long since completed metrication programmes. I suspect that the EU and global supply chains are metricated and the noble aim of dumping metrication is simply futile.

Perhaps those people who voted for Brexit on the basis of compulsory metrication were just having a wee tilt at a giant EU windmill. – Yours, etc,



Co Galway.