The change could not be made at short notice when England reached the final of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia
MPs are backing a proposal to make it easier for pubs to extend their opening hours for big events.
Currently, Parliament has to approve any changes to licensing hours for special dates and times, like Royal or sporting occasions. Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck said the current process is “overly bureaucratic” and doesn’t allow for last-minute changes.
She pointed out that when England reached the final of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia, pubs couldn’t apply in time to extend their opening hours. The South Shields MP noted that the final was on a Sunday and started at 11am, meaning pubs missed out on extra income because they couldn’t open earlier.
Also, Parliament wasn’t sitting so couldn’t approve a change. Ms Lewell-Buck’s Licensing Hours Extensions Bill would simplify this process and allow for an order to be approved even when Parliament is in recess. She said: “This is a really simple, impactful Bill.
“The pub is a great British institution. It’s right that they are able to welcome us through their doors for events of national and local significance.”
Home Office minister Laura Farris, showing the Government’s backing, stated: “This Bill results in the additional benefit of enabling extensions to be implemented at short notice, if necessary, including when Parliament is in recess. Current arrangements mean that fast-paced extensions are simply not always possible, which was particularly problematic when the Lionesses reached the final in Australia last year.”
She added: “This Bill rectifies this issues and ensures that licensing hours can be extended at short notice where necessary.” The Bill passed its second reading without opposition and will be examined further at a later date.
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