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Press Release

22/02/2021

Pub goers urge MSPs to support new law to protect pubs and improve the choice of beers on offer at the bar

Pub goers and beer drinkers from across the country are urging MSPs to support a new law being debated this week which would help pub licensees earn a decent living – and increase the choice of local and independent beers on offer in our locals. 

The proposed new law – the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill which has been put forward by Labour MSP Neil Bibby – would introduce a Pubs Code to govern the relationship between tied pub tenants and pub-owning businesses, with an Adjudicator to enforce the rules. 

It is designed to prevent national pub-owning businesses from taking more than is fair or sustainable from the profits of their tied tenants who lease pubs from them. 

Tied pubs see licensees rent the premises from a pub-owning company, with landlords required to buy beer and other supplies from that company. 

The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee is debating Stage 2 of the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill this week. 

As well as helping publicans earn a decent living, the Bill would also allow them more choice over which beers they stock, instead of having to buy a restricted range of stock at increasingly high prices from the pub-owning company. 

Consumer group CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is backing the new law, with its branches across the country urging MSPs to pass the legislation without delay to help protect and improve community pubs by allowing tied licensees to earn a decent living and increasing choice of local, independent beers on offer at the bar.

Commenting CAMRA Scotland’s Director Joe Crawford said: 

“Pub goers and beer drinkers across Scotland are urging MSPs to vote in favour of the Tied Pubs Bill, to make sure that those running tied pubs are treated fairly, can earn a decent living and build back better after the COVID-19 crisis. 

“As well as helping licensees, this new law could also see more beers on offer from small, local and independent breweries which will help increase choice for consumers at our locals. 

It’s not fair that large pub-owning businesses can restrict landlords to buying certain beers from them at above-market value and prevent them from support small, local breweries by offering these beers on tap. 

“That’s why we are urging MSPs to support the interests of consumers, community pubs and hard-working tied pub tenants over the large pub-owning businesses by voting in favour of the Tied Pubs Bill this week.” 

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