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BWMA Press Statement on the denial of Appeal to the House of Lords, July 15th 2002

In the House of Lords on Monday 15 July 2002 Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn and Lord Scott of Foscote refused the Metric Martyrs leave to appeal against their criminal convictions for selling bananas, mackerel, granny smith apples and sweet potatoes by the pound.

This was a day of rejoicing for the 7% of the population who strongly prefer metric units for everyday use.

For the vast majority of the population it was a black day, for we are now firmly set on the road to the complete annihilation of our traditional imperial measures for use in trade, public administration and health and safety, according to European Union directives. Any reference to pounds and ounces, feet and inches, and pints and gallons will be completely outlawed in a few years time.

It was also a black day for the British constitution. The Lord's ruling confirmed that all law is subservient to the 1972 European Communities Act. Prior to this ruling a key principle of British law was that any later Act overruled an earlier Act. This allowed parliament to correct unwanted and erroneous earlier legislation. No longer, all Acts later than the 1972 EC Act are now subservient to it. This includes the 1985 Weights & Measures Act that allows the continued use of imperial measures. It is null and void.

The implications are devastating. No longer can a government pass an Act in contravention of the 1972 EC Act.

For example, if a government decided to repatriate our vast fishing grounds that have been devastated by the European Union, it can be overturned. If a government wanted to ban the planting of genetically modified crops already approved by the EU it can prevented by invoking the 1972 EC Act. Even if the government wanted to ban the import of small quantities of meat and dairy products for personal use by long-haul travellers, the 1972 EC Act can be used to stop it.

In other words, the 1972 EC Act exists to cancel new legislation that contravenes it.

A black day indeed!

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