UKIP warning on smoke ban extension

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Uk independence party, Public places, House of lords, Smoking ban

UKIP warning on smoke ban extension
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has called for "civil disobedience" over what it says are plans to ban smoking from all public places, including beer gardens.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has called for "civil disobedience" over what it says are plans to ban smoking from all public places, including beer gardens.

UKIP points to Europe's recommendation that suggests a new definition of an enclosed or indoor areas where smoking should be banned.

These would "include any space covered by a roof or enclosed by one or more walls or sides, regardless of the type of material used for the roof, wall or sides, and regardless of whether the structure is permanent or temporary".

This goes further than the rule of smoking shelters in this country, where 50% must be open to the elements, and could threaten some smoking shelters.

UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom said: "Enough is enough. Today six pubs will close in the UK. Part of our culture is under threat and today is the time to say enough is enough. These jumped up puritanical dictators must be told where to get off.

"Nobody pretends that smoking is a good thing, but it is legal. So why don't they come clean and announce an outright ban? Because they daren't. Making 12 million Britons criminals overnight might be gong a little too far even for them. But making them second class citizens, well it seems that is no problem.

"These bullies seem to have no truck with freedom, liberty or tolerance. Well in that case we shall have to take it back. And if that means a certain level of civil disobedience, well, so be it."

He suggested if this was brought in as law, UKIP would call for people to refuse to abide by it by "going outside a pub and lighting up a cigarette".

"If we close down pub beer gardens, what is going to happen to the trade? We're condemning thousands of pubs to closure."

However, trade chiefs had earlier played down the significance of the report,

Robert Humphreys, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, stressed that this was a non-binding recommendation, and said it was probably aimed at other member states without smoking bans.

Nick Bish, chief executive of the Association for Licensed Multiple Retailers, said any ban on outdoor public places was "some way off", adding, "the threat is not the most serious, but that does not mean we shouldn't keep a close eye on this."

He added: "It's good to see UKIP's on the case!"

Yesterday health minister Lord Darzi said there are no plans to extend the smoking ban to outdoor public places in the UK, following a question from crossbench peer Lord Laird.

Related topics: Legislation

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