Pub industry statutory code: Background, key points and reaction

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Secretary vince cable Government

The Government has published its proposals for statutory code following a lengthy consultation period
The Government has published its proposals for statutory code following a lengthy consultation period
The Government has confirmed it will introduce a statutory code and independent adjudicator to govern the pubco/tenant relationship. It follows a lengthy wait for its response after a consultation in 2013. On this page we detail the main points of the code, reaction from the various pub trade stakeholders and links to key documents.

Publican's Morning Advertiser​ article listing a breakdown of the key points

Business Secretary Vince Cable's foreword to the Government's response to the consultation explains the reasoning behind the Government's intervention in the pub sector, the consultation process, the new policy and the proposed benefits it will bring tied tenants.

Jenny Willott

Opinion piece: BIS minister Jenny Willott's exclusive article for the PMA on the Government's response

Opinion piece: PMA group editor Rob Willock's comment piece

Pub trade reaction

Article rounding-up responses from leading figures, associations and campaigners

More detailed response from BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds on potential amendments to the code

Anti-pubco MP Greg Mulholland's response - promises free-of-tie amendment

Fair Pint campaigner Simon Clarke's response to BBPA comments

Official documents

The full Government response to the Pub Companies and Tenants consultation​ (PDF)

The BIS consultation web page​ includes:

  • Impact assessment
  • Consultation responses received from different groups
  • The original consultation document
  • Online survey responses

Word cloud

Using the text of the Government's consultation response - the larger the word, the greater its frequency in the document.


Timeline - the road to regulation

Dec 2004​ – Trade & Industry Select Committee publishes report into Pub Companies​ highlighting concerns into actions of large pubcos

April 2009​ – Business & Enterprise Committee publishes report on Pub Companies​ calling on Government to intervene

July 2009​ – CAMRA launches beer tie ‘super-complaint’ to the Office of Fair Trading. It is rejected later that year.

March 2010​ - Business, Innovation & Skills Committee publishes follow-up report​ delivering ultimatum to industry to deliver on self-regulation by June 2011.

Sept 2011​ – Business, Innovation & Skills Committee report concludes that industry hasn’t moved on and there remains a “high level of acrimony”

April 2011​ – Institute of Public Policy Research publishes its ‘Tied Down’ report​ (PDF), recommending the Government set up an independent adjudicator

Nov 2011​ – Government opts for strengthening current Industry Framework Code over statutory regulation after discussions with the BBPA

Jan 2012​ - MPs hold a debate in the House of Commons and unanimously pass a motion criticising the Government's lack of action on pubcos

Nov 2012​ – Business Secretary Vince Cable writes to industry asking for evidence on how self-regulation is working

Jan 2013​ – Following the evidence received, Cable announces intention to introduce a statutory code and adjudicator

April 2013​ – Government launches formal consultation

Jan 2014​ - MPs from all parties speak at Parliamentary debate to press Cable to stick to the Government's promise to introduce reforms

June 2014​ – Following lengthy delays, the Government publishes its long-awaited response


In the video below, filmed at the time of the consultation launch Jo Swinson, (the then) Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, and Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), discuss the Government’s proposals.

Related topics Legislation

Related news

Show more