Pub Code legislation, via the proposed Bibby Bill, is not the right solution for Scottish pubs, as Scotland already has a system of self-regulation in place for the 17% of pubs that operate under the beer tie.
This was the message from Brian Davidson, chairman of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, writing for The Scotsman online today. Brian also moved to correct suggestions from CAMRA, in The Scotsman in July, that there was no code of conduct operating for pubs in Scotland.
“The Scottish pub market is very different to that in England and Wales,” Brian wrote. “Just 17% of pubs in Scotland operate under a tie, compared to 40% in the UK as a whole.
“And when the Scottish government carried out a study of the pub market last year, it concluded that, ‘the evidence collected did not suggest that one sector of the pub market in Scotland is being unfairly disadvantaged’.”
“Furthermore, Colin Valentine’s assessment, that there is no code of practice for pubs in Scotland, doesn’t paint an accurate picture. It’s true, we don’t have a statutory system, but we do have our own industry code of practice.”
He added: “What really matters to Scotland’s pubs is that politicians, in both Holyrood and Westminster, listen to the needs of the Scottish pub industry.
“In particular, we need action to reduce the burden of business rates and beer duty, which are both very big burdens on pubs. Further red tape, through costly new legislation, is not the right solution.”