An Early Day Motion tabled in the House of Commons suggests that proposed changes to small brewers’ relief will make it harder for those brewers to compete.

brewery vessel

The primary sponsor is Olivia Blake, Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam, who said on Twitter: “Covid-19 is already having a huge impact on small breweries in Hallam and across the country, with two going out of business every week.

“Proposed government cuts to small brewers’ relief could be the death knell for the industry. I have tabled an [Early Day Motion] to raise this.”

The motion text

That this House believes the proposed reduction in small brewers’ relief for brewers below 5,000 hectolitres and the introduction of a cash basis:

  • will be disastrous for Britain’s internationally renowned craft brewery industry;
  • notes that the introduction of small brewers’ relief in 2002, designed to enable small breweries to compete with multi-nationals to compensate for a lack of market access and to encourage diversity in a heavily monopolised market, led to a flourishing, hugely successful, diverse and exciting British industry;
  • further believes that this proposal risks undoing all the benefits of small brewers’ relief over the last two decades and could be the death knell for the industry;
  • recognises that this will threaten thousands of jobs, a national industry of great value, and consumer choice;
  • is deeply concerned that this will add to the already enormous pressures the industry is facing, recognising that due to the covid-19 outbreak and its impact on the closely related industry of hospitality, beer sales have fallen by 80% and two small breweries are going out of business every week;
  • finds it shocking that the government’s technical consultation on small brewers’ relief fails to take into account the tremendous impact of covid-19 on the industry;
  • is concerned that the Treasury itself acknowledges that there are significant issues in how production cost data was gathered;
  • and believes that, if the problem identified in the consultation is the challenges faced by medium sized brewers in a market dominated by multinationals, legislation that makes it harder for small brewers to compete is not a solution to this.

Behind the motion

Co-sponsor of the motion are: Claudia Webbe (Ind, Leicester East), Jonathan Edwards (Ind, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr), Rachel Hopkins (Lab, Luton South), Navendu Mishra (Lab, Stockport), and Ian Lavery (Lab, Wansbeck).

Early Day Motions are motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons for which no date has been fixed. As there is no specific time allocated to them, very few are debated. They can be useful, however, to highlight Parliamentary support for a cause or view.

In addition to the sponsors, this EDM, tabled on 18th January, so far has six supporting MPs.

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