MPs pass law letting pubs stay open for longer on Coronation weekend

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MPs have formally passed the law allowing pubs and bars with alcohol licences to stay open until 1am across the upcoming Coronation Bank Holiday weekend. The law was passed without any objection, with one MP hailing it as a “rare opportunity to pass a law dedicated to joy and celebration”.

A group of nine beaming Conservative MPs posed for a photograph with the newly-passed bill this morning.

The bill, passed as a Statutory Instrument (SI) gave the Secretary of State the power to extend pub opening hours from 11pm to 1am.

While the new rules only apply to England and Wales, individual councils in Scotland have already said they will move to copy the later closing times over the border, including in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The 1am closing time will run from Friday 5 May through to Sunday 7 May, before reverting to the normal 11pm compulsory closing time on the Bank Holiday Monday.

The later opening time is not compulsory, so it’s worth checking with your local pub in advance whether they will be taking advantage of the longer hours.

The extension only applies to sales and supply for on-site consumption, and late-night food premises will only be allowed to stay open until 1am if they are also licensed to sell alcohol.

Sir James Duddridge MP was one of the MPs who passed the bill, adding: “God Save the King!”

Sir Bob Neill MP joked: “I’ll drink to that James! Well done all!”

While one Conservative Party activist described the new law as “fab”, they added “now make it permanent please”.

The government previously said that as well as bringing communities together to mark the special moment in British history it would “deliver a shot in the arm to the hospitality industry”.

Under Section 172 of the 2003 Licensing Act, the Home Secretary has the power to relax pub closing hours to mark occasions of “exceptional national significance”.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said “His Majesty the King’s Coronation will be a historic moment that will see our great nation and the entire Commonwealth joined together in celebration.”

“Our country, and in particular our hospitality industry, has faced many challenges in recent years and the King’s Coronation is an opportunity to give a boost to our local businesses, and celebrate with our local communities.

“Over the bank holiday weekend, we can raise a glass to our new monarch, and with our friends and families wish him a long and successful reign.”

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Britons last enjoyed longer pub opening hours at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Prior to the Jubilee, it was predicted Brits would drink 712million pints across the weekend.

Research by Star Pubs & Bars ahead of the Coronation suggests millions are set to head down their local, with three in four set to visit the pub for the occasion.

It could mean a record number of nearly 50million Brits visiting their favourite pub.

Heineken has predicted 36.1million pints of beer will be enjoyed over the Bank Holiday weekend.

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