Lords Approve Extended Euros Licensing Hours

An order to extend licensing hours during the Euros, has passed through the House of Lords and is ready for royal assent.
The order to the Licensing Act 2003 (UEFA European Football Championship Licensing Hours) will extend sales of alcohol if either England or Scotland reach the semi-final or the final of the Euros, meaning premises will be allowed to remain open until 1am without having to notify the licensing authority, but will only be permitted on the day the teams play.

The first game of the football tournament, between Group A teams Germany and Scotland, is due to take place on 14 June, while England’s is on 16 June against Serbia, and the semi-finals are due to take place on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 July, with the final in Berlin on Sunday 14 July.

When the proposal for an extension was first announced earlier this month Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “By creating this easement and cutting red tape, doing business will be that much easier.” And also expressed hope for an Anglo-Scottish final: “Let’s hope that England and Scotland make it not just through to the semi-finals but meet in the final itself, with pub-goers able to cheer the teams on with a beer later into the night thanks to these new measures.”

Conservative peer Lord Sharpe of Epsom, told the Lords today (may 24) : “So much of the business at the Home Offices is difficult, so it gives me particular pleasure that my last outing basically enables people to get properly on the lash.”

He said: “And as I hope Your Lordships will agree, the progression of England and Scotland, or both, to the late stages of the competition would represent just such an occasion.
“Should that happen people will want to come together in celebration and support of the home nation teams.”

Lord Sharpe said that during a Home Office consultation, more than 80% of respondents were in favour of the extended licensing.

He added: “However, it would be remiss of me not to mention that the police are not in favour of extending licensing hours given the potential for increased disorder.”

“Police deployments and resourcing are operational matters, of course, but I’m sure forces will, as they have in the past, put in place plans to minimise the risk.”

“It’s also worth pointing out that this is a limited, two-hour extension to licensing hours, which is a proportionate approach to mark these events.”

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Addington said the measures are “very reasonable and it sets a good precedent for actually when having an extra bit of celebration for a major event.”
He thanked fellow peers for their work over the current Parliamentary session and wished them well over the General Election, stating: “ I hope that nobody here gets bitten by a dog when delivering a leaflet.”