Boost for boozers as calls for massive overhaul of licensing laws gain momentum – what it means for your night out


Boozing laws could be scrapped for major events following the World Cup boost, according to pub chiefs.

Last weekend, millions of people flocked to their local pubs to support our women, resulting in sales increasing by up to a quarter.

Fans could be allowed to drink at pubs outside of normal hours for all big sports matches, pub chiefs suggest.
Despite councils' assurance that rules would not be enforced, many pubs had to wait until halftime to serve.

The British Beer and Pub Association says that national events like World Cup finals and major championship tournaments should automatically waive licensing rules without the need for special applications.

During the Women's World Cup final on Sunday, many pubs had to wait until the second half to serve due to strict drinking conditions imposed, despite councils stating they would not enforce them.

Campaigners are now calling for a change in the law to give ministers the power to implement blanket changes across the country, rather than relying on local authorities.

These changes should also be applicable during the summer months when MPs are not in Westminster, enabling pubs to start serving earlier and extend their operating hours.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, commented, "It’s great that this success was able to give a boost to our pubs after a year where they’ve faced a range of challenges from unsustainably high energy bills to double-digit duty increases. Despite the Government’s valuable work encouraging local authorities to support pubs on Sunday, we now need the law to reflect the reality that strict, prescriptive licensing cannot easily flex when key events are taking place while Parliament is not sitting. The Licensing Act is an important piece of legislation, but it was never intended to be so inflexible as to stand in the way of communities coming together and enjoy a beer and celebrate one-off events of national interest. MPs know the pubs are the focal points of their local communities so let’s work together to get an amendment quickly agreed."

Tory MP Greg Smith supports this initiative and opined, "Lots of sporting events take place at times which to us are in the early morning or late at night and people want to watch them with their friends, at the pub, with a pint. Licensing laws have not been updated for the modern age, and have done little for struggling pubs. We need a more sensible, common-sense approach to enable communities, particularly in rural Britain, to meet demand."

Fans welcome the lionesses home at Heathrow as they arrive back in the UK