Britain should ditch the "confusing shambles" of using both Imperial and metric systems of measurements for different things, a former chancellor of the exchequer has said.
Lord Howe of Aberavon, who served under Margaret Thatcher, said the British system of weights and measures were "in a mess" and gave the impression that we are a nation living in the imperial past.
"We have litres for petrol and fizzy drinks but pints for beer and milk. We have metres and kilometres for athletics and the Ordnance Survey but miles per gallon for cars," he said,
"We have the metric system for school but still have pounds and ounces in the market.
"Certainly, this muddle matters. It increases costs, confuses shoppers, leads to serious misunderstandings, causes accidents, confuses our children's education and, quite bluntly, puts us all to shame."
Speaking during a House of Lords debate on the Queen's Speech on Tuesday, Lord Howe said the country had come close to becoming divided with "on the one hand, a metrically literate elite and, on the other, a rudderless and bewildered majority".
He added: "The only solution is to complete the changeover to metric as swiftly and cleanly as possible."
He warned that successive British Governments had lacked the "consistency, candour and courage" to make the change.