Whilst Britain is preparing for the royal wedding, which will be seen around the world and a show case for all that is best in Britain, the UK government is set to end the oldest consumer protection that is and remains the envy of the world.
Yes believe it or not but the sterling lion may soon become an extinct species.
This particular lion is not protected, and its habitat is under imminent threat by an axe wielding government based in Westminster. In a bid to cut red tape and hence money (no not their lucrative expense accounts – silly) the trusted lion must go. After almost 800 years the UK government now wants to remove this most coveted of all consumer protection. Hallmarks on new items made of precious metal may be scrapped under a UK government bid to reduce red tape.
Now the Assay Offices in Birmingham and London have launched an appeal to persuade as many people as possible to object to the proposals, which form part of a consultation called The Red Tape challenge. Launched on April 7, comments are invited online until May 5.
"The Red Tape Challenge aims to reduce regulation which stifles enterprise and industry," said an Assay Office spokesman.
"The message from the Government appears to be that every regulation highlighted will be abolished – unless visitors to the website express sufficient good reasons to convince ministers that this particular regulation must be kept."
Hallmarking is one of eight key topics under scrutiny.
"We believe it is imperative to the British consumer for the current and future UK jewellery industry to maintain hallmarking as a statutory independent service," the Assay Office argues.
The British hallmarking system is the standard to which the rest of the world hope to reach, so what can be done to help protect this lion?
The UK Assay Offices want people to log on to www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/hallmarking and register their objections.
Unless people express their concerns, the lion will shortly be as dead as a dodo.