Scottish Parliament to discuss tied pubs


The Pub Advisory Service (PAS), one of the U.K.’s most prominent voices against the failings of pubcos, has joined a coalition of Scottish brewers and organisations to help the Scottish licensed industry fight against tied pubs. The call for action challenges the British Beer and Pub Association who, along with pubcos, wish to see no change in Scotland. The motion is set to go to parliament tomorrow (Wednesday 20th May) after a motion against tied pubs was lodged by MSP Paul Martin and gained cross-party support. It’s believed that 1000 pubs in Scotland are affected by the ruling which compels tenants of major beer companies to buy beer from their landlords, normally at higher prices than the market rate. It’s reported that tied pubs remove at least £40m from the Scottish economy.

The PAS recently had success at Westminster where MP’s voted to scrap the mechanism. Paul Waterson of the SLTA, one of the members of the coalition, commented, “The principle has already been established by Westminster – the tied model is unhealthy, uncompetitive and needs to be changed. What more needs to be proven? We must not allow delay. Scotland’s industry stands firmly together on this issue and we need decisive action fast.”

Other members of the coalition include Tennent Caledonian Breweries, Williams Brothers, and CAMRA. They were recently joined by Scottish Tourism Alliance who cited concerns of the effect tied pubs have on Scotland’s tourism. Mark Crothall, CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said, “Pubs and licensed premises are an important part of Scotland’s hospitality and tourism offering – but many would now appear to be disadvantaged compared with their counterparts across the rest of the UK.” He concludes, “We encourage the Scottish Government to commit to action on this issue in the near future and we look forward to positive progress being made.”