The Government Just Unveiled A New 'Brexit Freedom' – And Everyone Is Saying The Same Thing

It seems being able to buy wine in pints was not on many people's Christmas wish list.
Jose A. Bernat Bacete via Getty Images

Wine will officially be available to buy in pints in the new year, the government announced today.

The Tories declared on December 27 that still and sparkling wine will be available in 568ml “pint” sizes in supermarkets, pubs, clubs and restaurants come 2024.

The government’s press release claimed this is a first for Britain’s shelves, “thanks to new freedoms from leaving the European Union.”

But, former PM Sir Winston Churchill was known for buying pint sized bottles of champagne, allegedly referring to the measurement as the “ideal size”.

It was only once the UK joined the European Common Market in 1973 that the unit was outlawed when it came to wine sales.

Brussels prefers metric units like millimetres instead of imperial measurements like pints – and selling champagne in pints did not align with EU weights and measures laws.

Still, the government claims 900 British vineyards – which collectively sell 12.2 million bottles of wine a year – “are set to benefit” from this rule change.

There is no legal obligation for businesses to adopt these new sizes, though.

Enterprise minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Innovation, freedom and choice – that’s what today’s announcement gives to producers and consumers alike.

“Our exit from the EU was all about moments just like this, where we can seize new opportunities and provide a real boost to our great British wineries and further growing the economy.”

The shift also comes after the Department of Business and Trade found 98.7% of people still backed using metric units when buying or selling products in a June 2022 consultation.

And the reaction on X (formerly Twitter) seemed to reflect that general bewilderment at the government’s decision to introduce such a measure...


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