CAMRA comment on agreement to restore Northern Ireland Assembly
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Commenting on the announcement of a deal which could see the restoration of the Executive and the Northern Ireland Assembly, Chair of the Campaign for Real Ale Northern Ireland Ruth Sloan said:
“CAMRA NI welcomes the fact that Stormont should now be up and running once again, and are pleased to see a commitment in the New Decade, New Approach agreement to reform outdated licensing laws which currently mean that businesses, pub-goers and tourists here are at more of a disadvantage than anywhere else across these islands.
“CAMRA looks forward to working with the new Communities Minister and with MLAs from all parties to bring alcohol laws into the 21st century. Crucially, changing licensing laws can’t just be done to benefit large international companies – we must allow our small, local brewing and pub businesses to expand and thrive so that residents and tourists alike can get access to tasty, locally-produced brews.
“We need to give pubs more flexibility over things like opening hours and the types of beers they sell, as well as to recognise their importance as community assets helping to tackle loneliness and support responsible drinking.
“CAMRA will also be pushing for changes to allow local brewers and cider producers to be able to open taprooms, run brewery tours, sell online and sell at local events and markets. This would allow Northern Ireland’s beer scene to catch up with the rest of the UK and Ireland where local breweries are going from strength to strength.”