In a move expected to cost £18million, EEC commissioners have announced that all Britain's paving slabs will have to be changed as they are all slightly undersized.
The standard European regulation size is 45 x 45 centimetres, and the UK's are 40 x 40 cms. There are half and quarter size slabs which are also slightly smaller than the European size.
The work will take two years and begins in April.
In a separate move, Europe has decreed that all pedestrians must wear fluorescent armbands, in a move aimed at saving some of the 3,500 people killed or injured on Britain's roads every year.
The new rule comes into force in October when the light at night starts to fade.
Armbands will be available from branches of John Menzies and Holland & Baratt.