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Last Orders – World Cup Opening Hours up for Consultation

March 18, 2014

football world cup 2014Home Secretary Theresa May has launched a consultation paper on whether the government should relax licensing hours during this summer’s football World Cup in Brazil.

A five hour time difference with the UK means that England’s opening match with Italy on 14th June in Manaus will kick off at 11pm. An original attempt by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) to obtain a blanket extension until 1am on that night was rejected by the Home Office, leaving premises with only one option, that of applying for an individual temporary event notice. The decision was overturned by Prime Minister David Cameron, who ordered a rethink.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mrs May said, “The government is mindful of the need to strike a balance between the risks that late-night drinking can lead to increased crime and disorder and public nuisance and reducing the burden on those wishing to celebrate the FIFA World Cup.” Ministers have used powers in the past in order to relax licensing laws to celebrate occasions of ‘exceptional international, national or local significance’ including the royal wedding and the diamond jubilee.

The consultation, which runs until midnight on March 26th, will be used to decide whether a national relaxation of laws in England and Wales or the use of the temporary event notice system is the most appropriate course of action.

You can take part in the consultation here