AND MEASURES ASSOCIATION
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WHAT BRITISH BUSINESS
Compulsory use of metric is problematic for all types of businesses: village shopkeepers, high street stores, national companies, international exporters. BWMA's campaign to repeal compulsory metric conversion has received overwhelming support from the business community, and here some of them give the reasons why - in their own words.
Federation of Small
The cost of metrication is much higher than generally realised. This is because every penny spent by a firm on new metric equipment requires three times that amount to be generated in terms of turnover to make sufficient profit to cover the cost. In other words, a business will have to make sales of £3,000 before it can meet the cost of a metric weighing machine priced at £1,000. Even a relatively modest outlay such as £40 for a steel metric rule becomes expensive to afford at £120 of turnover.
There are thousands of such weighing and measuring instruments to be replaced, often fixed to walls and counters, plus pricing machines, rubber stamps, price lists, notices, signboards and advertising materials. Many business proprietors pay them selves no more than £10,000 meaning that for them, and other business people on income support, metrication could prove ruinous.
The Federation is particularly concerned with the use of criminal penalties. Why should businesses risk the threat of severe financial penalties and the stigma of criminalisation simply by quoting, pricing and trading in the imperial units customers actually prefer? Whether British shops use imperial or metric is entirely a matter for Britain under the EU principal of subsidiarity. It is of no interest to the citizens of Berlin whether people in Birmingham and Bournemouth buy goods in pounds and ounces. We ask that the government repeals compulsory metrication, thereby helping small businesses in a very real, tangible and relatively simple manner".
Letters from "London Voice" (FSB, London) Sept 2000
I had extensive dealings with the
arch-apostle of this policy, Commissioner Martin Bangermann, (who was forced to
resign in disgrace last year) and those in charge of the relevant unit within
his Industry Directorate, who explained to me that "the UK is in an
anomolous position, as a full partner of the EU yet sharing a common system of
weights and measures with the USA, which gives Britain an unfair competitive
advantage in transatlantic trade". The response of our
government, predictably, was:
How depressing to read such depressing letters...reggarding metrication and the EU. Such people should remember that this nation did not join the EU "of its own volition". The EU has been created by stealth accompanied by endless assurances that everything will stay the same and there is nothing to worry about!
Metrication needlessly and expensively destroys a valuable part of our identity and removes a useful advantage when trading with North America. It is true that "generations of children" have been educated in metric - at 32 I am one of them - but the reality is that they pick up feet, inches and miles after they have left school.
The EU and its apologists spend billions on propaganda and they happily 'cook the books'. For example, the EU claims that Britain exports far more to Europe than is the truth. This is done by including every cargo which briefly passes through the Netherlands' ports ON ROUTE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD.
Therefore, let us ignore the EU
diktats and do what small businesses are created to do:- give the people what
they want. After all, if they wanted metrication, it would have happened years
ago without legal compelment.
National Federation of Retail
National Association of
London Chamber of Commerce and
Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and
Ayrshire Chamber of
North Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce and
Basingstoke District Chamber of
Cornwall Association of Village
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