Extended Euros licensing hours approved so fans can 'get on lash'

My Lords, I beg to move that the House approves the Licensing Act 2023 UEFA European Football Championship Licensing Hours Order 2024, which was laid before Parliament on the 8th of May this summer. The UEFA Foot European Football Championship 2024 will take place in Germany and happily, both the England and Scotland men's national teams have qualified to take part. Therefore, my Lords, I'm before you today to propose the extension of licensing hours if either England or Scotland, or in fact both, reach the semi final on the 9th and or 10th of July and the final of the 14th of July. The Secretary of State is allowed under section 172 of the Licensing Act of 2003 to make such an order to relax opening hours for licensing licensed premises to mark occasions of exceptional international, national or local significance. And, as I hope your Lordships will agree, the progression of England and Scotland, or both, to the late stages of the competition would represent just such an occasion. Should that happen, people will want to come together in celebration and support of the home nation teams. The extension will apply to premises licences and club premises certificates in England and Wales, which licence the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises. These premises will be allowed to remain open until 1:00 AM without having to notify the licensing authority via a temporary event notice, as would usually be the case. This contingent order only covers sales for consumption on the premises after 11:00 PM. It does not cover premises which only sell alcohol for consumption off the premises such as off licences and supermarkets. Premises which provide late night refreshment, which is the supply of hot food or hot drinks to the public between the hours of 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM but do not sell alcohol for consumption on the premises will not be covered by the order. Such premises will only be available able to provide late night refreshment until until 1:00 AM if their existing licence already permits this. The Home Office conducted a public consultation which ran for 12 weeks. Over 80% of respondents agreed with the extension on the three proposed dates and that it would apply to England and Wales. The consultation received responses from numerous trade organisations who were in favour. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention that the police are not in favour of extending licensing hours given the potential for increased disorder. Police deployments and resourcing are operational matters of course, but I'm sure forces will, as they have in the past, put in place plans to minimise the risk. It's also worth pointing out that this is a limited 2 hour extension to licensing hours, which is a proportionate approach to mark these events. I'll make 2 further points before concluding. My Lords. The 1st is that because licensing is a devolved matter, if either England or or Scotland are successful in reaching either the semi final or the final, the extension will only apply to licence venues in England and Wales. The second point is, it is that if neither of these teams reach the semi final, their normal licensing hours will apply on the 9th and 10th of July. If either or both teams reach the semi final but neither team is in the final, normal licensing hours will apply on the 14th of July. My Lords, there will be great interest in the upcoming tournament, which is why we we have brought forward this order. And finally, I would like to wish both the England and Scotland teams the very best of luck. I beg to move. Well, my Lords, thank you very much indeed for your support for this Motion, which, as the noble Lords have said, is very important. As the noble Lord, Lord Coke, has said, much of the business of the Home Office is is difficult, so it gives me particular pleasure that my last outing basically enables people to get properly on the lash. My Lords, please drink responsibly.

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