THANKS to Brexit, soon we will be able to measure the lack of food on our shelves in pounds and ounces.

Shops are to be allowed to sell products in imperial (even the word itself bodes ill) after the government pledged to review a ban on marking and selling products in old-school units as part of post-Brexit changes to EU laws.

Brexit minister Lord David Frost set out plans on Thursday to ditch EU rules that no longer suit the UK following its departure from the bloc last year.

The government intends to review the content of retained EU law, which was preserved in UK law for continuity after the transition period ended in December 2020.

The restoration of old imperial weights, long a demand of Brexiteers who resented the imposition of metric measures by Brussels, was among the top potential benefits of the UK leaving the EU listed in a document called “Brexit Opportunities: Regulatory Reforms” (suggested alternative working title “Brexit Opportunities: A Return To Empire”).

The possible upsides of the UK’s exit from the EU’s regulations also include allowing publicans to reintroduce the Crown Stamp on their glassware, which had been prohibited by Brussels but which the review described as an “important symbol” of Britishness.

Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, arch Brexiteer and real ale enthusiast, said he was “delighted” with the reintroduction of the emblem on pint glasses.

Enough said, really.

Current law states traders must use metric measurements when selling packaged or loose goods in England, Scotland or Wales.

It is still legal to price goods in pounds and ounces but they have to be displayed alongside the price in grams and kilograms.

Boris Johnson said he would bring imperial units back to shops as part of his pitch in the 2019 General election, promising “an era of generosity and tolerance towards traditional measurements”.

Frost also claimed that “gloom-mongers” had been proved wrong following the UK’s exit from the EU.

“A lot of things haven’t happened that the gloom-mongers said would happen and I don’t think are going to happen,” the minister told peers.

However, critics have argued that Brexit has exacerbated the issue of shortages in shops in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, the head of the Food and Drink Federation warned that staff shortages, triggered by Covid and Brexit, had damaged the “just-in-time” delivery model, meaning food shortages in supermarkets and restaurants were now “permanent”.

At least we’ll be able to sweeten the blow with a quarter of midget gems.

Rumours have yet to be confirmed that the Tories are now hatching a plan to reverse decimalisation. A return to pounds, shillings and pence would be just the ticket to confuse the public and distract shoppers from the massive hike in food prices.

In 1971, in a small village in Argyll, a local shopkeeper dismissed decimalisation, saying it “would never catch on”.

Perhaps he will yet be proved right.