Top Tory Liz Truss has faced online mockery for vowing to bring back pint-sized champagne bottles after Brexit.
Sources revealed the Foreign Secretary has taken over a review of “hangover” EU laws that can be removed.
And she has set her sights on bringing back pint bottles of sparkling wine.
A Government source told The Daily Telegraph: “Pint-sized bottles were a victim of the EU’s war against imperial measurements, which are widely used and understood in this country.
“Now we’ve left the EU, we can rid ourselves of rules like this.”
Pint bottles were beloved by Winston Churchill, who said they were the “ideal size” and “enough for two at lunch and one at dinner”.
Ms Truss is rumoured to want the Tory leadership and the return of pint bottles – mooted several times in recent years – will be seen as a pitch to Brexiteers.
Simon Dawson / No10 Downing Street)
But critics will see it is a distraction bid after the UK admitted there will be no deal this year over the consequences of Boris Johnson ’s Brexit pact in Northern Ireland – and Brexit minister Lord Frost resigned.
The lack of a deal means some checks on inbound goods from Europe to Great Britain, which were repeatedly delayed, will now come in on January 1.
Critics poured scorn on the idea – while others pointing out champagne is made in France, whose producers seem unlikely to switch to pint bottles for the UK market.
Former Daily Record editor Murray Foote tweeted: “There is a flaw in this anticipated benefit of Brexit … it’s the French who make and bottle champagne.”
While the Rathfinny Estate in Sussex plans to make 56.8cl bottles alongside the usual 75cl, other people who were supportive of the idea were sceptical.
Writer Harry Wallop tweeted: “Churchill was right. A pint of champagne is a wonderful measure. And I’d love to see them return to the shelves.
AFP via Getty Images)
“But the bottles fell out of favour long before the UK joined the UK — they were an anomaly even by the time he died in 1965. Their “banning” by EU was post-hoc.”
Others were less charitable.
Writer Otto English tweeted: “160,000 dead. A nation in crisis and uncertainty and mourning for its loved ones.
“And Boris Johnson’s government is busying itself bringing back pint bottles of champagne. Utterly out of touch.”
Luke Tomlinson added: “I don’t remember “do you find 75cl of champagne too much and 37.5cl not enough” being among Vote Leave’s arguments for Brexit.”
Former Labour MP Anna Turley went on: “Pint sized champagne. Should have put that on the side of a bus. Definitely what it was all for.”
LGBT campaigner Jack Duncan tweeted: “4 million kids in poverty, COVID raging, but they taking time to ensure champagne can be sold in a f***ing pint bottle.”
Labour MP Lyn Brown said: “Seriously?? This is the best you can do?”
SDLP MLA Matthew O’Toole said: “Sad in a way that it’s come to this.
“UK Govt in search of Brexit upsides increasingly like a desperate relative wrapping up unwanted objects from their house and offering them as Christmas gifts.”
Lib Dem MP Layla Moran said: “How is this not interventionist Government? Of all the things going wrong right now how is THIS is even being entertained?
“And besides I’m pretty sure I’ve bought 375 and 500ml bottles before. I’d give up the 68ml to get them to focus on the big stuff.”
In September it was announced Tory ministers were using Brexit to “capitalise on new freedoms” – by bringing back imperial measurements in shops.
The government announced the UK would “review the EU ban on markings and sales in imperial units” – and pass a law to change the rules.
Despite the government announcement, imperial units such as pounds and ounces are not actually banned.
But since 1995, shops have had to show metric units by law, and cannot show the imperial unit more prominently than its metric equivalent.
Under a similar change, the government will allow the Crown Stamp to be placed “voluntarily” on pint glasses instead of CE markings.