The British government on Friday published a guide to help businesses bring back the logo of a crown on the side of pint glasses, in a move touted as a “key Brexit success.”
The crown had adorned pint glasses since 1698 and was there to let the drinker know that the glass in question was big enough to hold a full pint of beer, according to the statement. But, thanks to a 2004 EU directive (enforced in 2006), in came the EU-wide “CE” logo. CE stands for “conformité européenne” in — gasp! — French.
Contrary to Brtexiteer folklore, the EU did not ban the crown logo from pint glasses, but it did become purely symbolic.
According to the guidance, which was released in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, the crown will remain purely symbolic. “The crown symbol does not indicate compliance with any legal requirements. It is a decorative mark which recalls British history and traditions,” the document reads.
The actual, legal logo ensuring conformity for pint glasses is a rather drab UKCA mark, the British equivalent of CE. In England, Scotland and Wales, CE-marked pint glasses will be tolerated until the end of the year, but in Northern Ireland, the European logo will still be required since EU measurement regulations apply under the Northern Ireland protocol.
During his New Year’s Eve speech last year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “restoring the crown stamp on to the side of pint glasses” was a “key Brexit success” as the U.K. was “cutting back on EU red tape and bureaucracy and restoring common sense to [its] rulebook.”
The U.K. government is also launching a consultation to reform weights and measures, as British businesses are currently primarily bound to sell their products in metric units, as opposed to imperial units such as pounds and ounces. “While we think of our fruit and veg by the pound, the legacy of EU rules means we legally have to sell them by the kilo,” Business Minister Paul Scully said in the statement. “Our consultation today will help shops to serve customers in the way their customers want.”
“Not one constituent, ever, has asked for this,” Alicia Kearns, a Conservative MP who said she had no longer confidence in Johnson, tweeted. “This isn’t a Brexit freedom. It’s a nonsense.”