British Pinta is already saved

Sir Robert Atkins MEP has commented on media scare stories over the loss of the British pinta. “It is safe – the deals were done months ago,” he said. “The European Parliament will give ‘the pinta’ a huge endorsement when it votes next Thursday in Brussels. But it was our work last year in taking on the European Commission that paved the way”

Commenting on the Commission plan, Sir Robert said “Its real aim is to sweep away all the unnecessary rules that fix pack sizes on a very wide range of products, and let producers and consumers have a free choice. However, there are some special items, like milk and bread, where it’s right that rules should be kept in place. Consumers would be confused if a new range of sizes were suddenly to appear on the shelves. In its first draft, the Commission left out the pint of milk from the list of regulated sizes. We have made sure that it is on – and everyone agrees with us”

There have also been concerns raised about sliced bread, and the possibility of a “free for all” in weights and sizes. “We are asking for pre packed bread to be excluded from these rules” says Sir Robert Atkins. “It is right for UK consumers to be certain that they are getting the full weight of bread when the pick up a pre-packed loaf. Countries should be able to keep their local rules on bread weights”

The Internal Market Committee’s report, written by French MEP Jacques Toubon, will be adopted by the Parliament in Brussels next week. It was endorsed unanimously in Committee and Sir Robert Atkins is confident that this support will be maintained.

“Ironically, it is a plan by Europe to cut red tape that is causing all this fuss” says the bemused MEP. “We have been asked for less rules, so we support the thinking behind this. But the consumer must still come first. We added some protected sizes back to the list and even commissioned our own “economic impact assessment”, as business keeps asking us to do.

“People are so used to unnecessary rules from Europe that sometimes they don’t realise the changes that are now going on – and the role that we play as MEPs in sorting things out. This will show how MEPs are truly representing UK consumers”

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