MP joins calls for takeaway booze ban U-turn

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Further calls: MP Flick Drummond labelled the decision to prevent pubs selling takeaway alcohol as 'illogical'
Further calls: MP Flick Drummond labelled the decision to prevent pubs selling takeaway alcohol as 'illogical'

Related tags: Takeaway, Alcohol, Legislation, Beer, Wine

An MP has echoed calls of trade bodies urging the Government reverses its decision to ban pubs serving takeaway alcohol.

According to the Night-Time Industries Association, Conservative MP for Meon Valley Flick Drummond has written to the business secretary, calling the restriction “unfair”.

She highlighted how pubs and breweries in her constituency are unable to effectively trade yet, supermarkets can sell alcohol.

The letter said: “The current legal position, whereby pub and breweries cannot sell alcohol for takeaway is one of which is of deep concern to the trade and to constituents who have contacted me to protest about the law.

“It seems illogical to them to say they cannot go to their local pub or brewery, which is likely to be relatively quiet, to buy beer or wine, but they can go to a supermarket, which is likely to be very busy, to do so."

Scientific evidence

It added: “Can I ask if the department will review the position on this and revert to the position from the November national lockdown when takeaway sales were permitted?

“If there is scientific evidence that justifies maintaining the current position, can this be shared with the pub and brewing trade so it can better understand the Government’s position?”

This comes after bodies such as the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) also called for the ban to be reversed​.

BBPA boss Emma McClarkin said: “Supermarkets and off-licences can still sell alcohol so it is grossly unfair pubs with off-licences now cannot sell takeaway beer.

“Especially as pubs have no other revenue source right now. We are writing to the Government, requesting them to reverse the ban as a matter of urgency.”

Absolutely unfair

Serving takeaway alcohol was a lifeline to pubs and brewers throughout other national lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions, according to CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona.

He said: “It is absolutely unfair while big supermarkets can continue to sell alcohol, our struggling local pubs in England can’t act as an off licence too.

“Pubs are also the only place where people can get cask beer, which is under threat due to months of forced pub closures, with some breweries stopping production.

“The least the Government can do is take a sensible approach, think again and allow community pubs to sell takeaway products.

“No one wants to see drinking in the streets during a lockdown but allowing pubs to sell alcohol in sealed containers for people to take home – just like shops do – would be completely reasonable.

“Without a change in these lockdown laws, we risk seeing more locals going to the wall, traditional British cask ale under threat and people being forced into supermarkets instead of being allowed to support local businesses by buying beer from the pub to take home.”

Related topics: Beer

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