Landmark Tied Pubs Bill set to become law

Hundreds of Scottish publicans are set to gain new statutory protection, with MSPs expected to pass Neil Bibby’s Tied Pubs Bill tonight.

Tied pubs are owned by pub-owning companies and large breweries, with tenants required to buy beer from the brewer at big mark-ups. Neil Bibby’s Bill creates a statutory code and independent adjudicator to regulate those companies and stop publicans from being exploited.

It has been supported by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, the Campaign for Real Ale, FSB Scotland, GMB Scotland, the STUC, the Campaign for Pubs, the British Pub Confederation and the Pubs Advisory Service.

The Bill was backed by all parties in the Scottish Parliament at Stage One, with support from the Scottish Government.

Neil Bibby MSP said:

“For too long global brewing giants and big pub-owning businesses have been unregulated in Scotland and their tenants have gone without the protection of a statutory Pubs Code. Now that’s set to change.

Progressive new pub laws can protect tied pub tenants with a statutory Code to regulate pub-owning companies and new rights for publicans working hard to do what’s best for their business.

Keeping more of the profit pubs make in the Scottish economy supports jobs in our pub and brewing industries and helps tied tenants make a decent living. That’s what this Bill is all about. With a statutory Code we can act to curb unfair business practices by pub-owning landlords and deliver a better deal for publicans, consumers and Scotland’s brewers.

The past year has been an enormously difficult time for the pub and hospitality trades and I believe this Bill can help the sector build back after the Covid crisis. I look forward to continued engagement with the Scottish Government to take forward the important work of tied pub reform in Scotland.”

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