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Government urged to change licensing laws for national events Published Date: 24/08/2023

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) are calling for more flexible licensing laws during national events, such as Sunday's Women's World Cup final. 

The BBPA, which represents over 20,000 pubs, has called on the Government to do whatever must be done to change this regulation as fast as possible so pubs can prepare to serve the public, and fans can enjoy the communal experience of supporting England in a World Cup final among their fellow fans. 

Alun Cairns MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group said: 

”Early opening and serving would be a fitting tribute to the Lionesses and a welcome boost to the industry. I have raised the issue with the Home Secretary directly who is looking in to see what is possible.  We need to do all we can to support the team, whilst at the same time backing our great British pubs.” 

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:  

“Millions of people have been cheering on our amazing Lionesses throughout this tournament at their local pub, enjoying the unrivalled pub atmosphere and communal celebrations. Now, as England enter their first World Cup Final since 1966 we need the Government to step in and allow the necessary regulatory easement to allow pubs to serve the public from 10am on final day, so fan and communities can come together and cheer the Lionesses to victory at the best place to watch live sport, the pub. Where there’s a will, there has to be a way."

The call from the BBPA came in light of the woman's football world cup final between Spain and England.  There was no national order to relax licensing laws.  Instead, the Government wrote to councils asking them to "rapidly consider" licensing applications in lead up to Woman's World Cup Final.  In practice however, there was no time to process any licensing applications.