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Scottish Beer & Pub Association Response to First Minister Statement in Scottish Parliament on strategic framework for reopening

RETURN TO TIER SYSTEM IS CLOSURE IN ALL BUT NAME

In response to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s statement in the Scottish Parliament in which she outlined the Scottish Government’s strategic framework for re-opening Emma McClarkin, CEO of Scottish Beer & Pub Association said:

“The announcement today that hospitality can re-open from 26th April under the tiered system raises more questions than it answers. Pub businesses across Scotland now have a lengthy and uncertain wait until mid March when details of the tier system will be announced. While we welcome the news that the government intends to provide additional support for business for four weeks after opening and a tapered support for businesses facing tiered restrictions, it is essential they strip out the complexity of the tiers introduced last year and make them easier to interpret and work with.”

“For much of 2020 pubs in Scotland had to contend with onerous and unjustified restrictions which made it unviable to trade, resulting in many closing their doors for good. We hope that in reviewing the tier system the First Minister and her government will learn the lessons of last year and remove the arbitrary, and frankly, bizarre restrictions previously imposed such as curfew, no music and banning of the sale of alcohol. This is continued closure for pubs in all but name.”

Meanwhile the announcement comes on same day that Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill, which would introduce a levy on some pubs and destroy investment in the sector, is being debated in Parliamentary committee.  This is despite concerns from over 150 pub tenants, representing 20% of affected pubs, who wrote jointly to the First Minister at the weekend to reconsider the damaging bill.

Ends.


Press release from the Scottish Beer & Pub Association

Contacts:

Becky Haywood, Scottish Beer & Pub Association, 07974132040

Paul Togneri, Scottish Beer & Pub Association, 07502 159 101

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