Business and Planning Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:21 pm on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 5:21 pm, 29th June 2020

I can confirm that we have engaged with disability groups in the preparation of the clauses in this Bill.

We will also be making changes to alcohol licensing. Currently, any licensee wishing to add off-the-premises sales permission has to apply for a licence variation. This takes time, with a 28-day notice period, adverts placed, and sometimes a hearing. Ordinarily, of course, that is necessary. However, hospitality businesses are not operating in ordinary economic times, as we all acknowledge, so the Government are temporarily changing the process. Under the measures in this Bill, most licences will automatically and temporarily be extended to include off-the-premises sales. However, there are safeguards in place. The extension will not include premises that have been denied off-sales permission or had it removed within the past three years. Taken together, these measures will help our hospitality industry to get back to business over the busy summer months.