Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Europe - saving the UK from over-regulation

A little known ruling from Europe is actually cutting the amount of pointless regulation in the UK.

Ever wondered why bread only comes in loaves of 400 or 800 grammes? It's because the 'Assize of Bread and Ale Act' of 1266 stipulated that all bread other than 'small buns and morning pastries' must be sold in weights of 400gm or multiples thereof (I'm guessing that it wasn't grammes when the law was originally passed).

So every bakery and supermarket you ever go to will sell loaves in these weights and nothing else.

Until now. The European Commission - that bastion of zealous regulation - has told the UK to repeal this Act and allow bakers to sell their wares in whatever weights they want.

Hooray for liberal Europe and a bit of a dilemma for the anti-Europeans.

1 comment:

Edis said...

The French have always sold bread by actual weight of what was sold; so you are quoted as so much per kilo for a particular kind of loaf and when you buy a loaf or whatever that is weighted and you pay the pro-rata price. The insistence of British regulators through the centuries that bakers had to sell loaves in exact multiples of a set weight has been a nightmare (as anyone who has tried to bake loaves at home to a consistent weight can tell you).

Long long overdue. It does mean that UK bakers and bread counters will now need scales though.