By Max Clarke

Regulations banning the sale of different unwrapped bread sizes and small measures of wine are set to be scrapped, Science Minister David Willetts confirmed today.

Current laws restrict bakers to producing loaves of unpackaged bread in set sizes while licensed premises are limited to selling alcoholic drinks in certain measures.

These rules were aimed at protecting consumers but have not taken account of changes to trade practice or consumer demand in recent years. The Government plans to update the rules to introduce greater flexibility and to scrap those that are no longer needed.

Under current regulations unwrapped bread weighing more than 300g must be made up in quantities of 400g or multiples of it.

Wine cannot be sold in measures less than 125ml while beer must be sold in thirds, halves or multiples of half-pints. Fortified wine must be sold in the same quantities as normal wine.

Under the government’s changes, premises will be able to sell wine in measures under 75ml, beers can be sold in ‘schooners’ which are two-thirds of a pint while fortified wine will be sold in smaller sizes of 50ml and 70ml.

Fixed sizes for unwrapped bread will be scrapped so bakers will be free to innovate.

Science Minister David Willetts said:

“This is exactly the sort of unnecessary red tape the government wants to remove.

“No pub or restaurant should break the law by selling a customer a sample of wine.

“We have listened to consumers and businesses. They have called for fixed quantities to be kept but with greater flexibility. That is what this change will deliver.

“We are freeing businesses so they can innovate and create new products to meet the demands of their customers.”

A Statutory Instrument introducing these changes will be laid before Parliament during the coming session.