UK: Alcohol code consultation begins

13 May, 2009

UK: The consultation on the Government’s mandatory code for the sale of alcohol began today (Wednesday).

Plans include ensuring on-trade outlets offer smaller drink sizes, displaying the abv (alcohol by volume) and also a ban on all-inclusive drinks offers. Other measures include new rules about CCTV, possible glass bans and increased responsibility for door staff. 

The chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) Jeremy Beadles has responded to the launch of the formal consultation. He said: "With businesses facing falling sales in the middle of a deep recession, a further set of rules and regulations which add to day to day costs is hardly welcome.

"The Government is keen to emphasise that it wishes to tackle the minority of irresponsible businesses and consumers.

"We support this objective but need to be clear that these proposals don't just add more bureaucracy to responsible businesses and unduly punish the majority of responsible consumers.

"We will consider the detail of the proposed mandatory code and respond fully in due course."

British Beer and Pub Association director of communications Mark Hastings said: “We have always supported measures designed to tackle and eradicate irresponsible drinks’ promotions.

“However, at a time of increasing pub closures, with 39 pubs closing every week, these proposals for further red tape are disproportionate and excessive.  They will place additional cost burdens on struggling pubs.”

The consultation closes on 5 August.

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