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DESPERATE MEASURES; UK wins last-ditch vote to keep pint.

Byline: RUKI SAYID

MEDDLING Eurocrats have been forced to back down over plans to stop Britain selling beer and milk in pints and eggs by the dozen.

In a victory for common sense, the latest metric madness was torpedoed during an 11th-hour vote.

Now our traditional measures - including pounds and ounces and even the baker's dozen - are safe after yesterday's crucial ruling.

It was the last time the issue was to be discussed - and if the vote had gone against us, it would have meant the end of the UK's imperial measures.

But MPs on all sides were outraged by the Brussels proposals and made it clear they were determined to maintain Britain's independence from the European system.

As anti-metric campaigners celebrated last night, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "We've protected what we already hold dear. Selling eggs or bread rolls by the dozen, and using imperial measures like pints, are great British traditions that we all know and love and I was not going to let them be put at risk."

In another triumph, the key vote also saw Britain win the battle to force producers to spell out the country of origin on grub that carries claims to be British.

Previously, food made outside the UK but packed here could carry a "Made in Britain" marker.

Fresh and frozen meat will have to be clearly tagged with its country of origin and if any of the ingredients in food made here are imported, the label must state the source.

New labelling laws will also force companies to be up front on how much water there is in meat such as bacon - if the water content is more than 5%.

Ms Spelman said: "We have fought long and hard for more honest labelling so that consumers can make up their own minds about what they choose to eat.

"Shoppers will now be absolutely sure that if meat claims to be British, it will be British - reared to the high standards they'd expect."

Britain's currency went decimal in 1971, and the teaching of the metric system in schools began around then. Pubs sell spirits and wine in millilitres, but draught beer is still sold by the pint.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 30, 2011
Words:373
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