CAMRA sets out sector's priorities for new Scottish First Minister

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Priorities: 'Urgent discussions' needed to ensure successful future of Scottish pubs (Credit:Getty/georgeclerk)
Priorities: 'Urgent discussions' needed to ensure successful future of Scottish pubs (Credit:Getty/georgeclerk)

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The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has invited Scotland’s new First Minister for a drink to discuss the future of the nation’s pubs.

John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North, was this week announced as Humza Yousaf’s successor after his resignation last month.

CAMRA Scotland director Stuart McMahon said: “We would like to congratulate John Swinney on becoming the First Minister of Scotland.

Successful future 

“While we are sure he has a lot on his plate, urgent discussions must be had to ensure a successful future for Scottish pubs.  

“This is why we invite the First Minister to a pub of his choice to discuss the various ways in which pub, brewing and cider making industries can be improved to ameliorate the pub-going experience for beer and cider consumers.” 

Following his appointment, McMahon invited Swinney to a “pub of his choice” to discuss the issues surrounding the Scottish pub and beer industry, such as pub business rates, alcohol advertising and planning laws.

In addition, McMahon urged the new First Minister make sure there is a “robust” pubs code implemented in Scotland after the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce a new statutory Scottish Pubs Code and Adjudicator.

Urgent reset 

McMahon also called for the new First Minister to close a planning loophole allowing pubs to be demolished without planning permission, while campaigners also want to see a commitment to not to bring back plans to ban all alcohol advertisement and sponsorship.  

“Our priorities for this meeting, and for the Scottish Government, will be fairer business rates for pubs, confirmation of a decision to allow alcohol advertising in Scotland, a more secure planning law system and a muscular, robust Scottish Pubs Code”, the director added.

Prior to Swinney’s appointment, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) last week called for Yousaf’s successor to implement an “urgent reset​” in the relationship between the Scottish Government and businesses.


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