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MP presses Prime Minister to reverse ban on pubs being allowed to sell takeaway drinks

November 3, 2020 3:25 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has written to the Prime Minister urging him to scrap plans to ban pubs from serving alcoholic drinks to take away.

From Thursday, bars and pubs will still be permitted to sell takeaway food and drink but not alcohol.

Tim has been contacted by a number of local landlords who say that the ability to sell takeaway alcohol was a 'lifeline' for their business during the first lockdown, and they now fear for the future of their pubs.

There are also questions over the fairness of the new rules, with supermarkets still allowed to sell alcohol.

In his letter to Boris Johnson, Tim also echoed calls from the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) for the Government to support local pubs by:

  • Continuing the furlough scheme for the beer and pubs sector into December and beyond
  • Introducing a more sustainable round of grants for businesses to meet fixed costs during the four-week closure period, and those affected by restrictions in all tiers beyond it, in line with the first lockdown
  • Compensating breweries for unsold beer and returned stock
  • Extending the business rates holiday in 2021
  • Taking action on the cost of rents
  • Introducing a lower rate of duty on draught beer, to help local pubs compete with cheap supermarket alcohol

Tim said: "This is a cruel and deeply unfair decision from the Government which will be devastating for our local independent pubs, who were banking on being able to sell takeaway alcohol to keep themselves ticking over during this second lockdown.

"Why should it be one rule for the big supermarkets, and another for local community pubs who are on their knees?

"These measures will have no effect on tackling the virus but they will have a huge impact on the livelihoods of many people working in pubs and bars across Cumbria.

"For their sakes, the Government must think again."