Meanwhile, another line of optimism is that the outcome of Brexit will provide an opportunity to lower beer duty for pubs.
CAMRA claimed the UK’s exit from the EU will mean the Government will have the freedom to reduce beer duty, specifically in pubs, levelling the playing field between the price of beer sold in social, community settings and cheap supermarket alcohol consumed at home.
It said this move is one of three measures it thinks the Government needs to take to urgently halt the tide of pub closures.
Business rates systems
It is also calling for full reviews of the business rates systems to fix the unfair amount pubs pay and of “currently ineffective” legislation, designed to enable pub tenants to get a fair deal from their “big business property owners”. CAMRA claimed the Government had promised both moves but had yet to carry them out.
The number of pub closures has dropped slightly from a rate of 18 per week in 2018, according to CAMRA, which it said was thanks in part to its success in achieving new local planning protection for pubs in England.
But, it added, this figure was still too high and, without swift action, it is unlikely any of them will ever reopen.
Valuable community assets
CAMRA national chairman Jackie Parker said: “Pubs are a very important part of our national culture and are valuable community assets, which help combat loneliness and social isolation.
“It’s great we have seen a drop in the number of pubs closing, showing our hard-fought campaign to get planning protection for pubs was worth it.
“Protecting pubs in the English planning system was a necessity and a welcome move from the Government.
“However, it has taken nearly two years for the trickle-down effects of the planning changes to show. Our politicians should back the Save Our Pubs campaign in full and show they are squarely behind pubs.”