Over 7,000 pub-goers oppose alcohol code

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer Public house

The campaign is leading the fight against the mandatory alcohol code
The campaign is leading the fight against the mandatory alcohol code
There has been widespread opposition to the Government’s mandatory alcohol code, as over 7,000 pub-goers sign up to the Axe the Beer Tax, Save the Pub campaign

The Government’s mandatory alcohol code, which would see further legal sanctions imposed on the pub industry, has been met with widespread opposition with over 7,000 pub-goers lobbying the Home Office.

The protest, organised by the Axe the Beer Tax, Save the Pub​ campaign, came as a public consultation on the code closed last week. As part of the consultation, local council and local bodies were invited to express their opinions at ten regional workshops organised by the Home Office.

Strong opposition to the code was shown throughout all workshops, with only two people out of 120 at the Birmingham event supporting the code, and 77 per cent in the East of England and 70 per cent in Wales against the sanctions. The Local Government Association has also shown its opposition, and has officially stated that the code “will penalise the vast majority of responsible on-trade retailers at a time when the industry cannot afford this”.

David Long, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association​, said that while the industry fully supported the need to end irresponsible promotions, imposing any further sanctions would force more pubs to close.

“More than 50 pubs are now closing every week across the country,” he said. “It is time for the Government to begin to extend support to a valued British industry rather than heaping more and more pressure on it in these difficult times.

“It is perfectly clear from the last few weeks that there is overwhelming opposition to the Mandatory Code, from the public, licensees and the wider industry, and now – it appears – from councils and others too. For more than 7,000 members of the public to object to plans of this sort is unprecedented, and the Home Office must now listen to common sense and put a stop to this heavy-handed approach.”

The legislation, which is part of the Policing and Crime Bill, will now go forward to be debated in the House of Lords in October.

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