The first proposals that the UK should go metric date as far back as the mid 19th century, and the actual decision to convert was taken in 1965. Eagle-eyed blog readers will work out that the UK was not a member of the EU on either of those dates. That’s what I mean about the two issues being separate.
Weights and measures, though, is a fundamental aspect of market regulation. The earliest civilisations have had rules on this, back as far as the Babylonian era, and the EU-wide market we have today requires EU-wide standards. The metric system offers this, but the decision announced today is that old-fashioned imperial measures can live alongside them for those who wish.
It seems like a sensible compromise to me. Now, all that is missing is an apology from the anti-Europeans who have claimed that Brussels is on a relentless treadmill towards ever more centralisation and standardisation and that it never listens to the voice of the people.
While waiting for that, I’m off for a pint.