Pubs are continuing with their demands to amend the country’s licensing laws to permit them to sell alcohol earlier in the day on special occasions.
Calls to change the law were ignited in the run up to the Women’s World Cup final.
Typically, trading laws only prohibit pubs from pouring drinks from 11:00am, so many football fans were forced to wait if they arrived early to secure a spot.
The calls pushed Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove to write to local councils asking them to do “everything they can to help pubs get open earlier on Sunday.”
The British Beer & Pub Association are continuing those calls, however, asking for changes to be made to the Licensing Act avoid a similar situation in the future.
“The Licensing Act is an important piece of legislation, but it was never intended 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,” Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said.
“MPs know the pubs are the focal points of their local communities so let’s work together to get an amendment quickly agreed,” she added.
“Powers do currently exist within the act for Ministers to temporarily extend licensing hours, as we saw for royal occasions like the King’s Coronation, and we’d urge them to use these powers more often ahead of major sporting events that fall outside typical serving hours,” Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, told City A.M.
“New powers to temporarily suspend enforcement powers, akin to what the Government encouraged over the weekend, would be a positive change to the Act and provide even more flexibility when there are significant national occasions and insufficient time.”
It comes amid a challenging period for the UK hospitality sector which has been battered by a slowdown in spending due to the cost of living crisis. But many have been given a lift after recent sporting events have dragged punters back to the pub.
A Home Office spokesperson said:“The government can already relax licensing hours for an occasion of exceptional international, national, or local significance.
“We keep the law under review and work closely with the licensed sector to ensure the regime remains fit for purpose and meets emerging challenges.”