Brewers welcome clarity on beer tie

    John Gilligan
    John Gilligan

    BREWERS and trade bodies calling for an end to the beer tie in Scotland have welcomed clarity from the House of Lords, which they say paves the way for the Scottish Government to draft its own pubs code legislation.
    The group, which includes Tennent Caledonian Breweries, the SLTA and around eight craft producers, said following amendments to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill in the House of Lords, it now “explicitly states that tied pubs are a devolved matter”.
    As reported in SLTN (January 22), pubs code legislation in the Bill, which applies to premises in England and Wales, was unlikely to be implemented north of the border after the Scottish Government said the UK government’s department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) had no intention of seeking a legislative consent motion, which would extend the Westminster legislation to Scotland.
    BIS, meanwhile, said it understood that the Scottish Government was “considering whether there is evidence for it to make similar intervention” in Scotland.
    TCB’s John Gilligan said: “The assertion from the House of Lords that this issue is a devolved matter is very encouraging.”